Tuesday, 20 July 2010

war games

My son at 7 is obsessed with all things war. Bags of soldiers are bought with his pocket money and armies are lined up on a world map to conquer the planet. I think this is normal. I think this on the basis that all his friends seem equally obsessed about soldiers of any kind and come round to kill and be killed on a regular basis.

As I am a card carrying follower of JC I am a little uncomfortable with this celebration of all things violent and so began a conversation between the two of us one evening, "Sam the thing about war is........"

This conversation obviously sparked something in Sam's mind and he's kept coming back to it. Eventually he mentioned that if there is a war he probably wouldn't sign up after all. At this point I mentioned that if there was a war the government would make him sign up and if he still didn't sign up he would then be a criminal. Sam has wrestled with this a lot. How can it be criminal not to kill someone, even if the government says you should? When I said they think they know best Sam said that he thought he had some good ideas about things too and should be listened to. He became more and more bewildered with all this and Sam has seemed to come away with a very cautious sense of the government.

I think this is a good thing on the whole. Most of us take stability for granted, when most of the world are in chaos. I am constantly staggered by Amnesty's magazine and the horrors it contains and as for our own selves, we are so precariously balanced in world markets that I don't think we are untouchable.

Just before bed Sam said to me, "I've decided not to be a soldier. I'm going to be a shop keeper and earn lots of money."

"Sam the thing about money is........" Maybe I need to ease up a bit.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Spiritual Eggcitement

It is true to say I'm a little bit obsessed with chickens at the min. I read about them, have spent far too much time looking into housing them and am excited about owning some of the happy little cluckers.

It turns out I'm not on my own. More people than ever are getting excited too. I was at my friends house and confessed to my recent vice and she in turn got all excited and and asked me if I'd seen the latest coop. I loved her at that moment.

This coupled with the uptake in allotments now (most of my close friends either have one, share one or are growing veg in their gardens), was in my mind when Andy mentioned to me Luke 19:40
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Christian communities seem to own spirituality (at least in their minds). We have a set format, a legitimate way of expressing things and things beyond that are not accepted. Mel (our youth worker) spoke about needing to recognise God outside the church instead of thinking we have a monopoly on spirituality. There is a massive amount in this.

The balance of course is seeing where our traditions and denomination help and liberate us in spiritual formation and where they put up barriers.

The keeping of chickens, running of allotments, rambling societies etc etc etc, all this I am starting to see as the very stones crying out. If the church can't communicate and accommodate spirituality then the earth itself will call out and testify to Christ. People will meet with God in their connection to his creation.

I find myself comforted by this