Last week Chris and I had the opportunity to get away for a few days. We stayed with Chris’ parents overnight and then headed off to Glastonbury for a few days leaving Odie and Pebbles to enjoy their own holiday at their ‘grandparents’.
I loved Glastonbury. I wasn’t able to make it up the Tor, (I couldn’t walk that far), but spent a few enjoyable days covering all the other tourist traps. Loved the red spring, (the chalice well), and the white spring – where Chris and I sang harmonies in the dark Victorian chamber together; It was really special.
Wookie Hole was fun, Cheddar Gorge was magnificent, Clarke’s discount village was expensive (and you had to pay for parking), Wells Cathedral is stunning, and Glastonbury Abbey was beautiful. We ate at Knights, the best fish and chips I’ve had in a long time, and at a really good Italian restaurant right in the middle of town.
We explored Glastonbury’s strangely diverse shops. You can buy anything from a pint of milk to a witch’s broomstick. There was lots of stuff for sale that I clearly didn’t understand. (catering to the Wicca and Pagan market), but was interesting to look at anyway. The sun shone most of the time, and when it didn’t it was kind of fun to get caught in the rain!
Glastonbury is hailed as one of those special places where the veil between this world and the next feels ‘Thin’. There are such places all over the world, and many Cathedrals and churches are built on such sites. Whether or not you believe that some places are ‘special’ or not it’s still interesting to visit them and be open to new experience. When I first came to MCC I met Jesus in an upper room that was mostly used by the BBC for rehearsing plays. It’s certainly a ‘special’ space for me now.
I’ve learned that if we are open to whatever life chooses to share with us that we often meet a face of God in the process. Sometimes God chooses a face that’s familiar, but quite often it’s not. I bet Moses wasn’t expecting a burning bush, that Elijah wasn’t expecting a still small voice, or that Paul wasn’t expecting to be thrown from his horse by a blinding light, The temple mount in Jerusalem is held to be sacred by a number of traditions, -I’ve not been but it’s on my bucket list.
I understand enough about God to know that the reality of God vastly exceeds my ability to understand it. That Christ, The Holy Spirit, and the Creator God, are expressed in the world in ways so numerous that I could never experience them all. For me the searching and the exploring is part of the fun of the journey, Constantly knocking. Constantly seeking. The joy of discovery. It reminds me that I am a part of something much bigger than myself, and that the universe is a gift of love given to us to explore. There’s hidden treasure out there! And within.
I’ve learned that ‘searching’ is an invitation, that ‘knocking’ is God’s way of reaching out, and that those things we think we do in order to find God, is actually God reaching out for us.
PS. You’ve probably already heard so much about Thursday’s referendum that you don’t need to hear more from me. However, as a pastor, I do want to invite each of us to take a few moments to reflect on the motivation that is guiding our decision making process – regardless of which way we might plan to vote.
Which is more important to us; money, or people? our own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of everyone? does our decision reflect the foundation of our faith, loving our neighbor as ourself? is it a decision based in love, or fear? Let us decide carefully, prayerfully, for then I believe that whatever decision we make will have Christ’s love at the core and God’s blessing upon the outcome. Love – Michael xx