at the beginning of everything,
you said: ‘Let there be light’
and there was light and life in all the earth.
And when men and women had grown tired,
weary of the darkness
of anxiety, confusion and sin,
you came into that darkness,
in Jesus, the true light
who lightens everyone born into our world.
Once again it is dark –
not just dark at night
but dark within and among us:
the darkness of doubt and fearfulness,
of warfare and hunger and illness.
the darkness of conflicting voices,
the darkness of death.
Once again we welcome you
bending so low to creep in among us,
not forcing, not shouting,
too gentle to even flicker our candle flames.
Make your home among us again, we pray;
be our guest, in heart and home and city,
in the empty, howling wastelands of our times,
and light up our world once again
with the new hope
and the new life
that faith in you still brings.
Sermon for this Sunday LIVNG IN THE TRUTH
For some, Truth is a fortress, square and strong,
In which, once entered, safety lies.
Only like-minded people dwell there,
None disturb the calm and certain sureties of belief.
Outside, the World pursues its way, its noise and clamour,
Offering small attraction to those whose knowledge keeps them safe
Beyond the drawbridge of conviction.
If any try to breach the bastions of tradition,
They are repelled with boiling scorn.
Truth is impregnable.
For others, Truth is both journey and discovery,
A way, which leads and urges without rest.
No castle for retreat, but camps where fellow pilgrims join
To take refreshment in each other’s company.
Assorted in experience, they enrich, enlighten, challenge and
Go on to further exploration. Travelling light.
Knowing that in this life all is provisional: seeking fulfilment,
To the end and explanation of the quest.
Ann Lewin Candles and Kingfishers.
FRANCE IN MOURNING
Again the shots ring out:
this time on a busy street
on an autumn evening, in Paris.
But it could be my street,
your street, a friend’s son.
For is it not a war amidst technology -
endless death amidst tower blocks,
distant sand dunes and in the air?
And none of us clearly know
its causes, although we guess
or think we know,
because it’s about both guns and souls.
The soul of God, and the souls of people;
and sometimes we have forgotten
the depth of the soul and its hopes.
So sorrow and the heart’s longings mix
on this November night
as we light the candles
and France weeps.
Peter Millar, Edinburgh
Parkside Post Winter 2015 edition is now available here.