Sunday, 27 September 2009

Shaking off the mud and dust

At the beginning of the week I had written into part of our peace liturgy the idea of shaking the violence of the world off our feet. At church in Ferney this morning Charlotte Gérard, the ERF minister in Annecy, preached on shaking the mud and dust off our feet, Mark 6.11 "And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them."
With mud (wet dust!) stuck to our shoes it is hard to continue walking - it's also hard to get your shoes back on again if the shoes or boots haven't been cleaned. Since putting the peace prayers together at the beginning of the week I've also come across this powerful shaking off the dust liturgy.
Listening to Charlotte's sermon, participating in new roles in my former parish, helping to induct the newly elected elders to their ministry and receiving the laying on of hands with all the others who teach children and young people, I reflected on how far I had come since to some extent shaking the dust off my feet. How for me personally over the past two years memories have been healed. I also recognised how far the church had come since I left: of the 12 elders now serving only three had served in my time. My leaving was part of the process that led to this positive change. But it was for me sometimes a painful journey, five years of shaking the dust before I went back.
Thinking about this text I began to wonder about how hard we sometimes try to make unworkable situations work. There are times when we need to stop knocking at the door, remove ourselves from the situation and take time for the heavy mud to dry to something lighter that can be more easily shaken off.
So what is the heavy mud that is making it difficult for me to go forwards at the moment, what is the dust that needs to be shaken off? Where will healing lie in this part of my story?
Today I was blessed to be able to glimpse how the the ministry I was part of for seven years is bearing fruit today. It is rare for ministers to have that privilege and I give thanks for it.


callie said...

Thanks for this and other recent posts Jane. Thought provoking and inspiring.

Jane said...

Callie - thanks so much for reading. It's been good for me to write a bit less recently but a bit more reflectively. We have a crazy a chaotic weekend involving Amsterdam Utrecht Birmingham and Crete in the space of 5 days - I suspect that might make me feel a bit less reflective and more stressed! ;-) Take care out there as they say!

janetlees said...

I met my sucessor on Friday - and that was a wonderful moment too - how the world turns - yes I remember the mud and the dust but now I've taken the shoes off too and given them to someone else.