Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

August Newsletter

Hi everyone

I recently had the opportunity to attend a lecture (or more accurately a one man show) by my favourite American evangelist, Rob Bell. Rob, now the author of nine thought provoking books and the presenter of the Nooma DVD series appeared in the refurbished Haymarket Theatre, Leicester for one night.

In the nonstop two hour presentation on the subject of "The Holy Shift" Rob kept the 900 strong audience on the edge of their seats as he recalled the great spiritual moments that have shaped his ministry.

He started by asking us to define the word Holy. A word most often used as an adjective to describe something else. For example, "Holy Cow", "Holy Moses", or my father in law's favourite saying "Holy Heavens Above".

But Holy is more than an adjective, it is more importantly a state of mind. A state where respect for people, for God and for his creation exists within us in some unexplainable and mysterious way. How much energy, he asked, do we spend in fighting and trying to explain the mystery that is God rather than excepting the more "laid back" position of, I can't explain, it's one of those great mysteries. But it just feels right.

Not a very scientific approach you might argue but faith comes from the heart not the head. As Jesus commented to his disciples "unless we come to him in the mind set of little children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. In other words we must be childlike in our attitude to God in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Children are extremely trusting they don't need to know the intricate details of whatever creation theory is in vogue at the time. They simply accept because they are loved by and trust in their parents and those around. That for them, is sufficient.

Last week the children of our primary school had their leaving service. Each gave a short reflection of their memories at being at school. It was a powerful collective presentation of what they take away with them on the next journey through life. Everyone recalled some incident that had stuck in their mind over the last six years.

Memories, those things that we cannot hold in our hands but still engage the head and the heart are powerful influences in all our lives. We should always appreciate the spiritual aspects of being human as well as the physical and remember, God is spirit.

Rob Bell recalled one of his great spiritual and humbling experiences while out paddle surfing in a very calm Pacific Ocean, just off the California coast.

He and his wife were paddling a few hundred yards apart heading West away from the shore when a blue whale approached from the north. Rob recalls seeing the great vee shape tale disappear just beyond his wife's board. The whale resurfaced and dived between him and his wife and then swam under his board and surfaced on the other side.

At that moment he did not think he was the most important specie on planet earth. He didn't feel awesome or in control. He felt humble and small and with a degree of fear running down his leg. He later discovered that whales have very good eye sight. The whale had spotted the surf boarders a good mile away and it was very much in control and respectful of other ocean users.

A memory a special moment to savour just to remind us that we share this creation with a fantastic diversity of other life. When we acknowledge and respect all this and our part in it. It's then that we are approaching the holy.

God Bless

Revd. Don