Thursday, 5 September 2013

Beginnings - The Littlemore Window, 08.09.13

Littlemore Parish Church The Window for Sunday, 8th of September, 2013 Beginnings “Where do I begin?”, I bet you’ve said, maybe in a tone of slight exasperation, when life has become too complex and confusing and downright annoying and someone asks you to explain why. Beginnings are not as easy as you’d think. What about the year? The Calendar begins in January, but the Tax year in April, the School year in September, and the Church year at Advent, as autumn turns to winter. When is it meant to begin? Do beginnings have a set time and date? What about our birthdays? And death days? Who sets them? The Bible likes beginnings and endings. S. John’s Gospel starts with “In the beginning …” and quite near its end, with Jesus on the Cross, has “it is finished”. In the Tate Modern Gallery in London there’s a sculpture by Jacob Epstein of Christ in the tomb, and he named it “Consummatum Est”, which is the Latin for “it is finished”, but it means so much more than that. Because a consummation is also a beginning. It means we have gone on a journey and got to a new place, and new things are going to happen. Since moving to Barton I have become a great fan of country walks in the fields nearby. They have all now been harvested – “consummatum est” – but it is not finished. The grain is gathered in, dry as a bone thanks to this good weather, and ready to be malted, or made into flour, or livestock feed, or whatever is needed. It is not finished, the cycle continues. Like the crops, we all sometimes fail. Unlike the crops, we can pick ourselves up – or let God help pick us up – and begin again. We need no times, no dates, no calendar. And, as God blesses today, we may and must trust and hope, that he will bless and transfigure tomorrow. New beginnings. If we will only let them be. Richard Haggis Barton-upon-Bayswater, Oxford September 2013

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