You cannot leave your donkey in a ditch

When the Sabbath comes around each week for humans (yes for humans),
There’s worship and there’s teaching to join in (just join in).
It worries some that there are strict instructions (strict instructions)
Of things you can and cannot count as sin (count as sin).
If your donkey has been working hard for days now (hard for days now),
And really seems to warrant a short rest (a short rest),
It seems only right that you decide how (you decide how),
To rescue your lost quadruped’s a test!

For you cannot leave your donkey in a ditch,
In a ditch,
No you cannot leave your donkey in a ditch,
In ditch.

JAL 22.01.2019 on finding a valued quadruped that was given to me 10 years ago by a group of RN and RAF Chaplains.
Tune is Policeman’s Lot by Arthur Sullivan

Found but never lost!

I’m moving again. Some of the things that turn up were never really lost, just put away for one part of the voyage or more. We all travel with surplus baggage.

First there’s this bean bag. When I moved to share a flat in London over 30 years ago I bought this bean bag. It was instead of furniture. You could sit on a bean bag, or at least I could then.

Then there’s a lot of things from my daughter’s childhood: baby clothes, toys, pictures. I found one of the first dresses she made herself. She still makes her own clothes, as I often have myself including my wedding dress which is in a box on top of the wardrobe. Not lost. Waiting for the day of resurrection.

Lastly for now, this sweet jumper was one of the first my mother knitted for her granddaughter. I found the photo of her wearing it the other day. Grandmother and granddaughter had a great relationship.

There are many letters and cards that also turn up. And photos, some of the fish shop I mentioned the other day. Not lost, just biding their time.

On our hearts and on our homes

The blessing of God

JAL 17.01.2019

They went in

It was simple enough.
It was a ‘come in’ kind of place:
Homely, warm, gently buzzing.
So they went in.
After all they’d been in other places,
Scarier, less welcoming.
Places where you got questioned
About everything:
Where did you come from?
How did you get here?
Why have you come?
What do you want?
So they went in.
There was a baby
And like most babies,
It was the centre of attention.
It was sign, they said.
We’ve bought gifts, they said.
And eventually,
We’ll go back another way, they said,
Backing out slowly,
Not making a fuss.
Like they went in.

Welcoming One, may we also come in to your presence,
Homemaker, may we be welcoming too.
Manger Babe, may we bring others to the light and joy of your love.
Help us to remember that a welcome is not just for Epiphany,
And on the streets and beaches of this land may we be the welcomers.

JAL 06.01.2019
Feast of Epiphany


You can get lost in a temple
Or anywhere at all.
You can wander about for a few days
Or much, much longer
Until the story comes back to you.
Then you remember
Your place in God’s kindom
And you set off again,
Firmer, clearer, resolved.

JAL 04.01.2019

It seems that if you use a printed lectionary the story of the Lost Jesus only comes up once every three years, whereas it comes up quite often in the Remembered Bible.