Words to the Last Post
Come home! Come home!
The last post is sounding for you to hear
All good soldiers know very well there is nothing to fear while they do what is right, and forget all the worries they have met in their duties through the year
A soldier cannot always be great, but he can be a gentleman and he can be a right good pal to his comrades in his squad
So all you soldiers listen to this—Deal fair by all and you’ll never be amiss
Be Brave! Be Just!
Be honest and True Men!
Remembrance Sunday 2022
Today we make an act of commemoration but not celebration; we hold in our prayers those who have died and suffered in two world wars, in countless regional conflicts since, and in peace-keeping duties across the world. We mourn their loss and their suffering; the failure of politics and diplomacy that led to their sacrifice on the altar of human pride, obstinacy and indifference, and we also confess the darkness in our own hearts that all too often gives way to anger and seeks retribution. We pray that humanity may, before it is too late, consign war to the sins of history, and instead walk the ways of conciliation and peace.
Ultimate healing and love – Passion Sunday 2023
In the account of the raising of Lazarus of Bethany, we see the most dramatic of Jesus’ miracles – the ultimate healing and restoration of life and hope when all hope is lost.
But as John is dismissive of the naïve literalism of Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, and at times the disciples, so surely we cannot, should not, belittle this profound, poetic, carefully crafted text, redolent with images and myths from the ancient Hebrew past, by distorting, trivialising and constraining it within the narrow confines of literal fact. The truth is simply greater than that.
The love of a mother – Mothering Sunday 2023
Despite all the hype and commercial sentimentalism we should remember where the inspiration for Mothering Sunday has come from – what this day stands for – what it means. For let us remember what motherhood truly is. It is one of the hardest and most responsible jobs of all. Perhaps we fail to recognise its true value because so much of the time is taken up with seemingly menial tasks. For in those small acts, and a million more besides, a child learns at first hand the Christ-like nature of self-giving love.
That is why Mothering Sunday should not just be a time when we give a card with a naff poem and a few flowers. Instead we should truly reflect on the love and devotion, the hope and the worry, the hard work and the simple joys, the soaring delight and desperate heartache, the fear and the heroism of motherhood.
Where are our limits? – 3rd Sunday of Lent
Today’s gospel has two people encounter each other in the heat of the day, who would never normally speak. They were divided by culture, religion, taboos of purity, gender and morality. The misunderstandings and confusions are many, as they initially speak at complete cross-purposes; and yet, over time understanding, even some sense of communion is reached, boundaries are crossed, distance narrowed, barriers are breached.
Normally a Jewish Rabbi and a Samaritan woman would never speak, and particularly so when her own community considered her disreputable, to be shunned, a virtual outcast. To John’s listeners at the time a surprising, even shocking tale, as their own misunderstandings play into the unfolding encounter.
Are there parallels and lessons to be drawn in our own time – do we set limits to our own understanding and compassion?