In the midst of life we are in death

We were all fooled this morning into thinking the sunshine would be warm, dressed in our summer togs we found a place out of the wind then we were able to celebrate meeting to worship God with stoicism.

Blue skies and sunshine

blue skies and sunshine

We opened our worship with something adapted from Jonny Baker:

God of justice, peace and righteousness come into our midst this morning
Breathe your breath,
your Spirit of prophecy,
your energy,
your enlivening,
your imagination on us.
Wake us up
Open our eyes
Unplug our ears
That we might hear
That we might see
That we might grieve
That we might dream
That we might follow the ways of your extraordinary kingdom
Amen

Ian Adams asked us a long time ago to come up with a elevator pitch – a phrase to explain what we are in the time it would take to go up in a lift for three floors. Out task this morning was to do just that or to come up with a strap line for a brief advert. Creative souls that we are we came up with the following:

Elevator Pitches and Strap lines

  • We are a group of people on a spiritual journey valuing ancient Christian traditions but open to new ways of expressing faith. We have left behind church culture, hierarchy and conformity. We embrace uncertainty and include and welcome all. Third Space does church differently!
  • We are a bunch of people who are a bit pissed off with ordinary church. And we meet to explore ways, new and old, of following Jesus and worshipping God. Words that might say something about us are: communally creative, flat hierarchy, wabi sabi, ancient wisdom, creative spirituality, Celtic connections, celebration.
  • Third Space is a group of open minded, friendly, caring people having fun and learning together as we try to follow Jesus.
  • Third Space: an open space, thin place, creative, authentic, fun community with Jesus at it’s centre.
  • Third Space, Soul Space, Breathing Space, Divine Space.
  • A celebration of life and a place of possibility.
  • Third Space, Church out in the open (and in the pub).
  • Elemental, Authentic Christian Spirituality.

 

Every family in Third Space has been touched by death recently – members of our family and friends. Death is something that we all struggle to deal with and yet it is the only thing in life that each one of us shares with everyone and everything on the planet. We considered the phrase “in the midst of life we are in death” and considered how in todays world death is very sanitised, but when the phrase was written in the book of Common Prayer ordinary people’s life expectance was in their thirties, disease was rife, public executions common and one in three children died before the age of ten. So death was very much more part of life than it is today. Somehow we have become removed from death and dying has become sanitised. It becomes a shock for us even though death is something we will all experience personally.

We spent some time in prayer for those we know who have been bereaved or who are facing death. We also prayed for areas of the world dealing with diseases like HIV and Ebola and those in fear of death from violence or war.

“That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all – was put to death and then made alive – to bring us to God.”  1 Peter 3: 18 (Message)

We closed our time together in the bandstand by sharing bread and wine.

As always fellowship continued over coffee at Cool River Cool River special

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