The value of discarding the sermon

This morning a wonderful thing happened: at the end of the second reading from 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 7:29-31
A reading from the first letter of Paul to the people of the city of Corinth

Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

…and Jim stopped and said “what does that mean – especially ‘Those who have wives should live as though they had none’ ?”

and so I put aside everything I had prepared to speak on the Gospel. At this point the Holy Spirit takes over and you preach from the heart. I think the result was reflected in that reliance on God.

Listen to that here: http://chirb.it/nKgFzP (17 mins long – sorry about that)

Jesus is coming – look busy!

 

Crowdsourced Psalms Project

I am launching today a new collaborative project which builds upon what I have been doing for the past few weeks: a digital Psalter for a new generation.

The Psalms are the rich lifeblood of the Church’s prayer – the hymnody of the Jewish people, the staple of the Daily Divine Office of Morning and Evening Prayer. Each day we encounter the Psalms afresh and each day they surprise, delight, comfort and challenge.

After a number of successful recordings, it seems right to (gradually) record the whole Psalter: to give it music and image and to make it freely accessible for use in your worship and church teaching.

Enter The Crowdsourced Psalms Project

 

Crowdsourced Psalms Project

I hope you will be able to find a few moments a week/month to help and contribute. The more voices from around the world the better. All you need is a phone or your PC.

All of the results of this are to be made freely available on the site and freely downloadable. All I ask is your prayers for my ministry here in Plymouth – call it Prayerware if you like!

“So, is there an afterlife, and if so, what will it be like? I don’t have a clue. But…”

Marcus Borg (1942-2015)

“So, is there an afterlife, and if so, what will it be like? I don’t have a clue. But I am confident that the one who has buoyed us up in life will also buoy us up through death. We die into God. What more that means, I do not know. But that is all I need to know.”

Marcus J. Borg, Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power – And How They Can Be Restored

marcus-borg-550x550

Another Psalm to be crowdsourced please… Psalm 73

If you saw what we have done with crowdsourced psalms recently, I am thinking that we should, over time, try and do the whole Psalter. To this end, I need your contributions for Psalm 73

As before:

2014-10-03 13.57.56

Instructions

  1. If you have a phone like an iPhone or an Android, there is usually an app to record your voice – often called “Voice Memo” or some thing similar. I use a free Android App called ASR which can be installed for free from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nll.asr  If you have better recording equipment, then even better, but I have found that most smartphones are good enough nowadays. You can configure it to record at quite a good quality: I would suggest 128k in MP3 or MP4 format if that means anything to you. If not, just record it as it comes and I will do spooky mysterious things with it with electronics.
  2. Read (nicely and in the highest possible quality) any (or preferably all) of the Psalms in their entirety as listed below. It would be great if you did each one separately just to make it easier for me to edit. It will also make the emailing easier.
  3. After recording select “Share” (or similar) and email it to me at fr.simonrundell@gmail.com
  4. I will cut it up with all the others and make these into Psalm readings using the multiplicity of voices, accents, genders etc.
  5. Can you tell others and ask them to do it for me please so I get lots and lots of voices.

Thank you.

If anyone can help out with some similarly simple instructions for iPhone, then can they forward them to me and I’ll add them.

The text I need recording:

salm 73:3-15

For I was envious of the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs until death;
    their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
    violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
    and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them,
    and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
    Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;
    always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean
    and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken
    and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
    I would have betrayed the generation of your children.

A request for the Internet – Crowdsourced Recordings of some Psalms

UPDATE: NOW COMPLETE, BUT PLEASE HELP WITH PSALM 73: https://frsimon.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/another-psalm-to-be-crowdsourced-please-psalm-73/

 

I need the help of the Internet to create some Psalm readings for a Lent Course I am working on. I need loads of you.

I did this recently with Psalm 139 and it was lovely

It shouldn’t take more than about 10-15 mins to read these 5 Psalms. If you are willing to help, then please follow the instructions below.  The results will be made freely available for use in your own worship/church/meditations as a Creative Commons Collaborative Project. Thank you

2014-10-03 13.57.56

Instructions

  1. If you have a phone like an iPhone or an Android, there is usually an app to record your voice – often called “Voice Memo” or some thing similar. I use a free Android App called ASR which can be installed for free from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nll.asr  If you have better recording equipment, then even better, but I have found that most smartphones are good enough nowadays. You can configure it to record at quite a good quality: I would suggest 128k in MP3 or MP4 format if that means anything to you. If not, just record it as it comes and I will do spooky mysterious things with it with electronics.
  2. Read (nicely and in the highest possible quality) any (or preferably all) of the Psalms in their entirety as listed below. It would be great if you did each one separately just to make it easier for me to edit. It will also make the emailing easier.
  3. After recording select “Share” (or similar) and email it to me at fr.simonrundell@gmail.com
  4. I will cut it up with all the others and make these into Psalm readings using the multiplicity of voices, accents, genders etc.
  5. Can you tell others and ask them to do it for me please so I get lots and lots of voices.

Thank you.

If anyone can help out with some similarly simple instructions for iPhone, then can they forward them to me and I’ll add them.

The texts I need recording:

Psalm 46

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

 

 

 

Psalm 34:1-8

Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

 

 

Psalm 42

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

 

 

Psalm 143

A Psalm of David.

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.

 

 

Psalm 98

A Psalm.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

 

Journey of the Magi – TS Eliot

‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

TS Eliot

Epiphany Proclamation 2015

Dear brothers and sisters,
the glory of the Lord has shone upon us,
and shall ever be manifest among us,
until the day of his return.

Through the rhythms of times and seasons
let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year’s culmination,
the Easter Triduum of the Lord:
his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial,
and his rising celebrated
between the evening of the Second day of April
and the evening of the Fourth day of April,
Easter Sunday being on the Fifth day of April.

Each Easter — as on each Sunday —
the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed
by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death.
From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent,
will occur on the Eighteenth day of February.

The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on
Sunday, the Fourteenth day of May.

Pentecost, joyful conclusion of the season of Easter,
will be celebrated on the Twenty-Fourth day of May.

And, this year the First Sunday of Advent will be
on the Twenty-Ninth day of November.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ
in the feasts of the holy Mother of God,
in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints,
and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come,
Lord of time and history,
be endless praise, for ever and ever.

Amen.