Changing, moving city last night
The late David Bowie sang;
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same...
Turn and face the strange
Pretty soon now you're gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time...
This week I've been contemplating change. This is the first full day of the dropping of the traffic light system, something that we knew would come. We hope for a normal summer perhaps. The pandemic dissipates to something more endemic, as predicted by various epidemiologists and virologists. Perhaps now they can go back to being university science nerds and we can all move on.
This is the first week of my life without Queen Elizabeth ll on the throne, as our official head of state. Many of you can say the same. I give thanks for her remarkable life of service. I was amused to read in one of the papers about responses to a roving reporter asking young people what they thought of her replacement; 'the Queen has always been on our money, her replacement was not well advertised.' 'He seems a bit of a wimp.' Nothing like a bit of breathtaking ignorance to start the day.
Personally, I think as the heir to the throne for the last 70 years, Charles' succession was quite well signalled. Also, someone who attended several brutally rigorous boarding schools, completed an excellent MA in archaeology and architecture at Cambridge, learnt to fly military aircraft and rose to command a Royal Navy ship is hardly a wimp. "Long live the King!" I say.
Today I visited with an old youth group friend with stage 4 brain cancer. He is in good spirits but the treatment is visibly taking its toll. I discovered he has a magnificently incriminating trove of old photos which rejuvenated some youth group memories for me. We shared some laughs. I'm glad to renew the acquaintance and will continue to journey with him both in a personal and pastoral way, as I am able.
So this week has bowled me over as I contemplate change. All of us experience such changes in our lives. As Christian believers we roll with change in the framework of hope and faith, looking to God in the midst of whatever turmoil comes our way. We remember the love of God in it all and give thanks. So '...be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.' Eph 6:10 NRSV)