how do you know when K has a sermon to write
Answer: when she starts blogging all sorts of memes
So, given I'm celebrating at the main Eucharist, then have another Baptism tomorrow morn, my mother in law, sister in law and her husband coming to supper tonight , and not a word of the sermon sorted for Evensong tomorrow, naturally I'm going to post my response to the RevGalsBlogPals Friday Five straight away.
I realise that it is now Saturday, but my defence is that nobody had posted the suggestion before I crashed last night. A result of having friends in different time zones, I suppose.
1) What is your earliest memory of church?
Ooh….that would be Remembrance Sunday when I was, I guess, about 3 (because my best friend S, who is 4 years older than me, had just joined Brownies). She was allowed to attend church in her uniform, because it was a special day…and her grown up sister, my godmother, wore a wonderful hat with a huge brim. I just wore a Remembrance poppy, like everyone else, and felt terribly left out and insignificant. I suspect there may have been tears when I was not allowed to go and stand with the Brownies during the Act of Remembrance.
The 2 minutes silence made a huge impression on me. S’s father had been a Spitfire pilot in WW2 (and had died of TB before I was born) and my own adored father had been in the navy, so these solemn state commemorations felt as if they were directly honouring the Two Most Important Men in our World. The town where I grew up was a favourite retirement destination, so the church had more than its fair share of war veterans, who all wore their medals on Remembrance Sunday- but not my father. He would never talk about what the war had meant for him, except to say that he had loved going to sea. Years later, after his death, I learned that he had served in Burma, and received a DSC…but he was hero enough for S and me without that. I remember watching elderly ladies crying with quiet dignity and feeling that somehow these two minutes were the most important part of the service…so much so that when we got home, S and I invented our own liturgy, which involved collecting a pile of autumn leaves (whose significance escapes me now) and finally lighting a match apiece (VERY naughty…matches were strictly forbidden) in honour of our fathers.
Exclusion, silence and ritual….still part of the church experience, over 40 years later
2) How old were you when you first took Communion?
13…the week after I was Confirmed. Normally I went to the quiet 8.00 Eucharist with my father but this week we, the two teenage girls who had been confirmed, were invited to the main 10.30 service and asked to bring up the elements. We wore school uniform, and were so terrified of doing the wrong thing that the spiritual impact of the occasion was totally lost. I guess the enormity of it grew on me through the years, with each encounter making me more aware of the Gift of it all.
3) What is your favorite Bible verse/passage? Presuming that I’m not allowed John 3:16, what about Jeremiah 31:3? For my Ember card this summer I chose Exodus 15:2…but when I'm feeling overwhelmed by life Isaiah 43 ....Sorry, not sure I've really got a favourite. But, as someone who worries that her relationship with the Bible is in some ways deficient, it's quite comforting to find so many essential passages leaping to mind. Of course, I often don't know exactly where to find them, which is really a rather awful admission...but at least I know what I've lost!
4) What verse/passage nicks you uncomfortably? Too many to count…here’s one for today: Luke 14:26
God knows, I really do struggle with priorities….but I know too that God honours the struggle.
5) What's your favourite hymn or praise song?
Not sure I can really choose.
And can it be would have to be in the top 3 and so would
When I survey the wondrous cross…but then there’s Eternal ruler of the ceaseless round and O thou who camest from above and Just as I am and Crown him with many crowns and….no, sorry, I need all of those and more. Can't possibly choose.
I am, however, quite certain that neither Proverbs 3 1-18 nor 1 Jn 3 1-15 are in my top spot for anything except most avoided activity of the day. Ah well, of such is the kingdom...