7 September 2010

A busy weekend

Last weekend was completely insane! We had five house guests, a meal with friends from the chaplaincy on Saturday, a farewell service at the Chaplaincy and a bring and share barbecue on the Sunday, finished off with Reflect. I meant to post about it yesterday, but I spent most of Monday trying to stay awake!

It's been a while since we had a weekend with lots of friends from the past visiting us, and it was great to do it again. It was notable, though, that life has changed in a massive way for some of us. The addition of small children puts a different emphasis on life, and bedtimes are a little more sensible than they used to be on similar weekends.

Another highlight of the weekend was our farewell service, which was the regular Chaplaincy (non-term-time) service with a liberal scattering of old faces who came back to wave us off. Since LittleLanky arrived, I've had a bit less to do with music in the morning services at Chaplaincy, and it was really good to team up with an old chaplaincy friend to plan and lead the music (with the accompaniment of RevKev on the guitar).

At this point I need to issue a **Blog Etiquette Warning**. I'm not usually one for posting the lyrics of songs and hymns on the blog, but I will do so shortly. Please turn away from the screen if you are offended by such things.

In worship, I find I am readily 'affected' by good music, and although Sunday wasn't necessarily a virtuoso performance, the final hymn was an emotional roller-coaster for me. We sang 'The Summons' by John Bell and Graham Maule from the Iona community. It's a hymn that I've always liked, despite the mauling (pardon the pun) it often gets by English organists and choirs, but on Sunday the words spoke to me in a spine tingling way that made it hard to sing - let alone lead.  If you don't know it, or need a reminder, here are the words:

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the "you" you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In Your company I'll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
It was one of those situations when the writer speaks so clearly and poignantly that it feels as though the words could have been commissioned for that particular service, and for me personally. I certainly felt that God was speaking through the words of Bell and Maule, directly to my family and me as we prepare to take a massive step into the unknown. The words reminded me that although we don't know the details of how the next few years will pan out, we're being sent as God's people, under God's care, and that the journey will be one of growth and incredible change. It might be scary, but it's good-scary!

The other high point of the weekend was the barbecue after the service. We were joined by friends and family, and the weather was great! We had a wonderful time in each other's company, and I'm very grateful to all the people who pitched in to help with setting up and cleaning away. It always seems to be the same selfless individuals who disappear into the kitchen, without a sound, to do the washing up. You know who you are, and so do we! We notice your service to others, and we appreciate it.

Seeing so many friends from past and present made me reflect on the fact that although we are moving from Lancaster, the friends we have will support us wherever we go. We've offered the use of our spare room in Cambridge to many people now, and we really hope that at least some of them take up the offer. Our house in Lancaster has been a happy house with a sometimes revolving door, and although it can be hard work to keep on top of sheet washing and furniture re-arrangements, I'd like that to continue as we move to Cambridge. We need to start with a housewarming party, perhaps to coincide with LittleLanky's first birthday in October.

8 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Sounds like we had similar weekends- except we returned to derbyshire for ours! It was hectic but lovely to spend time with friends as you also found. How's the packing going? We are down to last few bits and pieces for store and just the kitchen contents for the flat plus clothes.really beginiing to feel as if this is happening!

  2. Our packing has stalled a bit due to social committments. We're planning to knuckle down this weekend. I finish work on Friday, and from then until the arrival of the removal people of Wednesday, it's pack, pack, pack.