Sunday, 21 November 2010

Uncluttered LIves

We are well into the birthday season in Openshaw! Starting with Clare in October, Rachel, Imogen, Beth, Deborah and Joan all have birthdays in the run up to Christmas. So it was not inappropriate that we looked at the need to "de-clutter" our lives today. This was the last of our series exploring the values of Urban Expression and we focussed on the need to hold our possessions lightly - which is somewhat ironic as this post is being written on our new iPad!

Jesus asked Bartemaeus what he wanted. Bartemaeus replied that he wanted to see - but in giving the gift of sight, Jesus gave so much more - dignity, respect, the ability to earn a living etc.

So we looked at Simple Gifts (and also sang the almost impossible song of the same name!). We first drew up lists for Father Christmas of what we would like. My request for a Gibson Custom Les Paul guitar sat well with Joel's desire for £999,999,999,999! Neither realistic nor generous!

So we moved on to look at what our community really needs. Safe, creative play spaces; a bigger primary school; jobs and so on. These were written onto wallpaper.

And all our requests were sent to Father Christmas in the time honoured fashion of burning them up the chimney!

Prayers were wrapped in a gift box. When we opened the box it contained "Hope" "Joy" "Peace" etc.

And we closed with the following eucharist which Clare wrote:

Clearing Out The Clutter Eucharist

So much stuff!
clothes that no longer fit
stains that won’t wash
buttons missing and seams undone
toys which are broken and tangled
or with pieces missing
creased trump cards
odd marbles
party bag fillers
toys and books outgrown
craft projects half done
teddies which hold memories
and can’t be thrown away
toys never opened or played with
bits and bobs
lurking at the bottom of draws
messy toy boxes and book shelves
time for a good clearout!

So much stuff!
memories of the past
we want to cherish
and hold on to
scars we wish we could forget
thoughts which come back
to haunt us and weigh us down
voices inside our head
which damage confidence
and prevent us from moving on
people and relationships
we neglect and don’t have time for
guilt and shame
we wish we could banish
broken relationships
we wish we could mend
or leave behind.
Time for a good clear out!

Jesus asks,
“What is it you want from me?”
as he calls people
to leave their homes
and their families
their jobs and their friends
and to follow him
into an unknown future
travelling light
with few possessions
relying on the hospitality
and generosity of others
learning what is important
and what really matters
learning to trust God
building friendships
experiencing life
knowing what weighs others down.

Jesus asks,
“What is it you want from me?”
and he gives freely
not of possessions or things
but of gifts
that have a deeper value
love -
for those that are unloved
acceptance -
for those that are rejected by society
justice -
for those who are wronged
friendship -
for those who are lonely
food -
for those who are hungry
peace –
for those who are tormented.

Jesus asks,
“What is it you want from me?”
as he invites
those who have learned to travel light
to share a last meal with him
perfume is poured out, extravagantly
to be used in love
not held back
for its monetary value
bread is broken
"This is my body
given for you",
wine in poured
"This is my blood
poured out for you",
not bread and wine
but body and blood
life itself!

In this bread
all humanity
are called
to be one.
[share bread]

In this wine
all humanity
are called
to a new way of life.
[share wine]

Jesus asks,
“What is it you want from me?”
and invites us
to God’s table
to share in the life
God gives us
Jesus offers us
a chance to clear out
the clutter of our lives
to be forgiven
and live free of the things
that weigh us down
and to travel light
to give and receive
gifts that last
gifts not of things
but the deeper gifts
of God and of ourselves!
© Clare McBeath, 2010

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