I sometimes ask people, when I am planning the funeral of their loved one, to picture them in the place that says everything about them, or words to that effect. It needs to flow from the conversation.
A setting often springs readily to mind, and it does convey more than can be put just in words. Sometimes that is the perfect place to finish a eulogy. A summary.
One of the ways of moving on in the Church of England is to go and see the Rev John Lee, Clergy Appointments Advisor, and allow him to produce a summary of who you are and publish it so other Dioceses can see if there is a vacancy that you seem to fit. I really enjoyed meeting him, even though it played no part in my arriving at All Saints. His last question to me was ‘What word would sum up your view of your ministry?’ ‘Incarnational,’ I replied, without hesitation. For me, that means it is the encountered God who is real, and revealing the hidden life of God in ours is what life is about. ‘It is no longer I that live,’ said Paul, ‘but Christ who lives in me.’ For me it is the start and end point of the Christian life. It is what scripture testifies to. It is what the witness of the church is to and for.
In Revelation chapter 2 we find this phrase “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” As God’s life surfaces pre-eminent, which it always does from time to time as we follow him, we are fed spiritually and affirmed in who we are in God. Encouraged as we step out in faith. And that intriguing white stone to be received with a hidden name. I think the name is a summary. Like a sculpture that emerges from the stone at the sculptor’s hand, we are becoming who we are at the Master’s hand.
PS There was no blog yesterday because the internet at church and vicarage was down from teatime ’til lunchtime today.
PPS I am not even remotely thinking of, or being prompted to, move. There are no lines above to read between!