Sunday, 16 April 2017

Outside Tea in Lent

 Well, there's the end of another Lent. I hope yours was full of insight, and warmer than ours here in the Frozen North! I think I did learn a few things along the way...

  If you drink tea outside every most days in Lent, you may catch cold. This cold could last forty days and forty nights plus their associated Sundays. You may well end up on a very strong antibiotic! Falling asleep outside, see below, will not bode well! If you do all this in the Frozen North, be not deceived by short moments of sunshine. And most of all, climbing Northern Ireland's third highest mountain with said levels of congestion will not be a happy experience, at least on the way up!

 Secondly, there is a distinct contrast between the earlier and the later days. At the start it was all about taking time out, literally, to be more disciplined about listening to God. Then the idea took over, to the exclusion of the reflection. This has happened to me before, and is for me, I think, quite linked to the whole social media thing. So in the days before Pentecost I am going to be much less on farcebook, and much more locked in the metaphorical upper room, before the invention of WiFi! Waiting for the Spirit, rather than the likes. This is a shameful admission for a woman of nearly fifty! I do have a greater desire to seek God now than I did forty pictures ago.

What strikes me very much about the pictures is that the vast majority of them are taken in our garden. The meadowplace is predominantly where I live and move and have my being, but there needs to be a bit of an effort now to have open doors, an open life as our sermon encouraged today. There are a few opportunities that I have ignored for weeks, but I am saying yes to them now. Very scary in all three instances, but small steps!

 And lastly the Cross. My main intention was to appreciate, not just understand, the importance of the cross. This has been a very humbling journey. Right through the denial of Judas, and predicted denials of Peter, in John 13. It was my sin, my daily denial, that held him there. And yet, immediately after John 13, in 14:1-4, Jesus promises a room for me, prepared, with safe passage guaranteed.You know the way to the place where I am going!

 It does tickle me that I ended up with forty pictures- admittedly they are not all outside! I thought I would be able to pick a favourite, but now I'm not so sure. My top four might be mountain tea, soon-moving-to-Glasgow-Catherine tea and the silly black and white ones: there's a trend among the wittiest of folk-from-church-on-farcebook to be witty in grayscale. I don't quite cut it, but it was fun to have a go!

So, cheers! A kind, and incidentally hilarious, colleague of Prince Charming's sent me at one point an envelope full of delicious tea sachets to help me along the way, and I have two left. Leave a comment and I'll pull a name out of the hat, and send them on. But if you're going to be drinking outside tea- do wrap up well!