SUNDAY – Second Sunday in Lent
“Taking Abram outside, the Lord said ‘Look up to Heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants.’” (Genesis 15)
It is the billions of stars and planets that causes me the greatest doubt about not the divinity of Christ but whether he was the whole show. Strange that in this ancient script, the very first book of the Bible, it is the sheer number of stars that invites comment and interest. I sometimes wonder if these people were so naïve as we imagine. Abram too would from his desert encampment look up at incomparable glory of thousands of stars, in a crystal clear air, unencumbered by fog or light pollution. They must have been his nightly friends, inspiring his vision, his outlook into the unfathomable.
And this weekend they have been arguing about Europe.
MONDAY – The Chair of St Peter
The Chair of St Peter sounds so grand, yet Peter must have been no more than a hunted insurgent.
“Never be a dictator over any group in your charge.” (1 Peter 5)
I take part in the Prime Minister’s statement on Europe. I ask about the Middle East and Syrian migrants. Peter, of course, was one.
I ask the Foreign Secretary about Syria and Russia. A ceasefire is imminent.
I go to the funeral of one of my ladies in the Cathedral. Simple, a mixture of Latin and English for a fine person.
An orthodox rabbi came to see me. We are setting up an all-party group. Faith schools are under threat as never before. Regulations designed to catch a few – very few – Jihadists are going to impact all schools. Schools should be entitled to teach their faith, however unpalatable to the prevailing ethos, as long as you teach respect for others. Religions are entitled to have a point of view.
Entrance Antiphon: “Let my steps be guided by your promise: may evil never rule me.”
I speak in the Europe debate. Has the EU brought peace in Europe? People argue passionately for it. Yes, there is peace in Europe. Yes, the EU exists. That does not mean that the former is the result of the latter.
Today’s Psalm: “Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.”
If you are looking for a cure for insomnia, read my speech on Europe today – an hour long. Timing is relaxed on a Friday.
“There was a man who planted a vineyard…” (Matthew 21)
The hunt came to Stainton le Vale and I walk through the quiet deep wooded valleys in its wake.
Glorious early spring colours of browns and greens, lone horsemen on the horizon everything moving quietly in the flow of the countryside. Monty pulling on the lead, his attention on the moment – for him no past or future.
“O God, who grant us by glorious healing remedies while still on earth…” (Collect)