A first piece of scriptural exploration with a congregation has been around Jesus’ promise that those who give ‘a cold drinking cup’ to ‘these little ones’ (I enjoy the fact that this is literally ‘microns’) will not be unrewarded.
In the process I’ve revisited my sense of how sacramental this appears to be. The Church of England has taught from the start that the two sacraments of Baptism and Communion are such because they are commanded by Christ, have a clear outward sign, have an equally clear inner grace, and are a means of conveying this grace, so I can’t see why the giving of a cold drinking cup to those others would miss doesn’t count.
It would certainly turn the stale debate about whether there are two or seven sacraments on its head if one was to propose that there in fact thousands of them.
The picture is the view from the vestry at our smallest church on the edge of the moor at Stanbury.
A first piece of potential faith exploration with the community sadly revolves around the prevalence of young adult suicide: one of the local Baptist Ministers identified this as a local issue to me independently of the request to take a funeral for a young mother who had taken her own life, and I find it identified as a national issue too.
Being involved in the funeral has actually been a privilege for all sorts of reasons, including what a remarkable young women she was and the quality of her family and friends who I have encountered in the process.
I need to take care rather than jump in, but I have the feeling that what we display in the heavily visited church at Haworth and how we talk about meaning with those who prepare for their children’s Baptism and for their own Weddings may be just some of the things affected by this.
The picture is a close-up in our greenhouse; having sadly left behind in Grimsby a substantial fruit cage and it growing crop, we have been fortunate to inherit a carefully developed garden with much fruit of its own, and we have certainly not had a vine before.