Ps 84 & Matt 5

Lectionary Resources

Blog Tour

Super excited to report that I was on the BBC local radio on Sunday talking about 40 Days with Labyrinths. You can listen via this link – Sun 29th, at time mark 3:12, sharing the airwaves with Phil Collins – cool!

The latest stop on the blog tour is with Maressa Mortimer’s Vicarious Living blog, where she describes the book as “breezy … uplifting, encouraging and engaging.” TYVM, Maressa 🙂

If you have not seen Catherine Owen’s creative blog at Raggy Rat, you can find a review there. And there’s a review in the Art Serve web-zine  (many thanks Jude Simms xx). On Feb 4th, you can pop along to Liz Manning’s blog, The Stuff Life is Made of, and see what she says.

And of course, I got a review in the CHURCH TIMES!!!! (oh yeah, baby!)

I’m also delighted to report that we had a lovely book launch at Launde Abbey and they’ve have taken several copies for their bookshop. Why not pop in for a visit? You can walk a full-sized labyrinth while you are there. (And eat cake. Lots of cake.)

Your liturgy resources are at the bottom, but first, some reflections on one of the lectionary passages, this time, the psalm.

Psalm 84

Just before my eldest’s 12th birthday (when the prices would have gone up) I took my girlies for a two-day break to Disneyland. We made a lot of good memories. Happy times. But something that struck me then has stayed with me ever since.

There were a lot of sweeper-uppers – you know, local teens employed to go round with the little pans and brushes and catch every stray sweet-wrapper before it hits the ground. Bit of a boring job, I’m sure. Not exactly mentally challenging or of high status, but – and this is where the relevance to the passage comes in – it’s in Disneyland! You get to live in that magic every day! Sure, your job is to pick up ither people’s rubbish, but it’s a job that needs doing and you get you do it in Disneyland!

Better a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord …

I’ve just come back from a weekend away at Launde Abbey, our diocesan retreat house on the Rutland/ Leicestershire border. It’s just lovely. Set in acres of rolling hills with sheep dotted artistically around.

It’s lovely on the inside too, and I don’t mean the beautiful 900-year-old chapel. The hundreds of years of prayer in this place have seeped into the very stones of which it is built, and the buildings give off a constant perfume of praise.

To be a bed-maker here, to be a waitress here, to be a kitchen washer-upper, I’m sure is as mundane a task as it would be anywhere, but – you get to do it in God’s house!

Better a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord …

So what of me? What of you? We can’t all live at Launde Abbey for ever. We have to pack up our cars and drive home and get on with Monday as usual.

Boring, mundane, dreary old Monday.

Better a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord …

Those sweeper-uppers had a mundane job, but it was elevated to magical because of where they were – in Disneyland. Those waitresses and bed-makers had a mundane job, but it was elevated because of where they were – Launde Abbey. My day-to-day is mundane. A lot like yours, I’d guess: doing the laundry, feeding the pets, wondering what the funny smell in the fridge is. But it is elevated because of where we are – in God’s house!

Yes, you, reading this right now, your daily grind can be lived to the Lord and be elevated to the most glorious service. Nothing changes on the outside – you sweep up crisp packets, you fold sheets, you run the kids to school, you press the button on the machine – but you do it to the Lord, as service and offering in the place he has set you, and it is elevated to something beautiful.

Better a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord …

Liturgy Resources for Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12), Matthew 5:13-20

Confession and Absolution

Let us confess our failing to our merciful God.

You call us to be salt in the world,
but we have not done so. Father, forgive us.
Forgive us and help us.

You call us to be light for the world,
but we have not done so. Father, forgive us.
Forgive us and help us.

You call us to give glory to you, our father in heaven,
but we have not done so. Father, forgive us.
Forgive us and help us.

May the God of all mercies revive and restore us,
and make us to be lights shining in his kingdom.

Blessing and Dismissal

May your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing spring up quickly.

May your vindication go before you,
and the glory of the Lord be your rear guard.

May you call, and the Lord answer.
May you cry aloud and he say, “Here I am.”

And the blessing of God: Father, Son and Spirit,
be upon you, around you, within you and before you
all the days of your life.

Go in God’s strength and be light to those around you.
In the name of Christ,

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