Heroes and Villains – Archangel St Michael

Mural on entrance wall at Rockingham Centre

Dragons at Rockingham Centre, Southwark

Many stories have a hero and a villain.
Some that come to mind are; Superman and Lex Luther , Batman and The Joker, Harry Potter and Voldemort, Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader,

What happens in these stories; well let’s take Harry Potter, of course…

As he grows up in his school at Hogwarts he discovers the evil truth about Voldemort, that he is trying to overthrow all that is good in the world of wizardry including the head of the school,  Professor Dumbledore.
But Harry Potter is strong and rises up to those who are used by Voldemort to
do his evil works, eventually Harry Potter meets and fights with Voldemort himself.
Harry Potter the hero and Voldemort the villain.

Sherlock Holmes, the series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is one of my favourites.
Sherlock who is able to make amazing deductions from clues, is always aware that
Moriarty is a force that is usually present.
And so then to St Michael, we hear in the book of Revelations that Michael and his angels fight the dragon and his angels and that Satan, the dragon is defeated and thrown down.

So St Michael is the hero!!

And then what about his band of angels, read more in Faith Goes Walkabout, sermons.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Michaelmass, Sermons | Tagged , | Comments Off on Heroes and Villains – Archangel St Michael

Bolshoi Ballet and Spartacus at The Royal Opera House, London

Spartacus the ballet was performed over three weeks this summer. I was lucky to be there for the opening night and the performance by the Bolshoi Ballet was stunning beyond words. This is a ballet full of emotion and hard gritted determination of Spartacus and his followers in the complete strength of the Roman Army in Italy. A full three hours of energy,passion, ballet like I had never seen, dance and gymnastic skills which were perfection, either as a group or individuals.

The Bolshoi Ballet returned to the Royal Opera House for another exciting three-week season of spectacular ballets presented by Victor Hochhauser, beginning with Yuri Grigorovich’s Spartacus.

This sensational staging, first performed in London in 1969, is a Bolshoi classic, displaying the energy and power of the company’s male dancers.

Spartacus leads his rebellion of gladiators and slaves against the rule of empire in ancient Rome – an epic uprising that brings marching battalions, mortal combat and heroic death scenes.

Performing Khachaturian’s thrilling music, the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre accompany these performances.’

Further information about the dancers can be found on the Royal Opera House website.

The 150 players in the orchestra were incredible and gave more than I can describe to the energy and passion of this performance.

The principal and soloist dancers were completely stunning and the full audience in the Royal Opera House  were silenced in awe and wonder.

Sometimes it is so good to leave all words behind, and yet feel the amazing energy that life has. This ballet gave so much to the audience and without any words at all, we all left knowing the story and feeling deep within us the hurt and anguish of the life of the slaves.

To know the feeling that is caused by such an outrage as slavery can only help to know and to understand that we all need to leave behind such horrors and reconcile them to the past.

In creative works of dance, art and music we can sense more than we can say and we can glimpse an awareness of life beyond our own understanding.

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bolshoi Ballet and Spartacus at The Royal Opera House, London

Landing on the Moon 50th Anniversary

‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. Neil Armstrong.

Neil was the first man to walk on the moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin on 20th July 1969.

 

 

Awesome, inspirational and 50 years on shows just what we can do from planet earth!

Buzz Aldrin read from the Bible, John 15:5

I am the vine, you are the branches.

Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.’

You can see the last stages of the landing of the lunar module The Eagle

On a clear dark night we can look at the moon, we can also look at Jupiter for a while. But when the moon is out, especially a full moon, we can look and wonder that it is only a small part of our solar system, it has always been there for us shining and reflecting the Sun. Beyond our solar system and universe we know there is our own galaxy and then more beyond that, beyond our wildest dreams, imagining and understanding.

We live in a tiny part of this universe and our understanding of God and our part is still pretty small.

Read more on Sermons 2019

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Landing on the Moon 50th Anniversary

The Planets with Professor Brian Cox

There is something very special in knowing we are part of The Solar System, a small place in God’s universe. The BBC series on The Planets with Professor Brian Cox brings in more than just the science. There is a huge dimension of awe and wonder. The sense of something so much larger than we can see or imagine is embedded in every episode.

I was lucky enough to be star gazing a week ago and watched Jupiter  slowly appear over the darkened horizon, above a cliff side in the Mediterranean. As it slowly crept into the night sky in the south, it shone way in excess of anything else in the sky. No one could  fail to have been impressed with the sight.

Jupiter could in fact have destroyed the earth, in sending out asteroids which landed on earth billions of years ago and have left enormous craters and were responsible for the destruction of over 70 species, including of course, the dinosaurs!

Definitely a series worth watching !

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Planets with Professor Brian Cox

Easter Sunday Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

On this glorious Easter Day , spend time in the garden if you can or at least ouside in the sunshine. Gardens and being a gardener are part of the Easter Story. Remember the Garden of Gethsemane, and when Mary found that Jesus was not in the tomb, she thought his voice was that of the gardener.

Jesus said,  “Remember I am with you always to the end of the age”.

And that surely is what the Easter message is about. Jesus risen from the dead, alive and with us, here, now and forever.

The cross that we wear and the cross that he bore gives us the light to walk out into the world and proclaim him Lord, It takes away the power of darkness, it takes away the things that we do wrong and leads us to an eternal life.

It is a love proclaimed, God who sent his only Son to be with us to show his love for all his people.

And Jesus gives us forgiveness, he gives us love, he gives us a light to shine in the world.

The cross that we wear and the cross that he bore gives us the light to walk out into the world and proclaim him Lord,

And let us always remember he said,

I am here with you always, to the end of the age.

Happy Easter and Alleluia Christ is Risen. 

Part of Easter Day sermon

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Easter Sunday Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Lent Course, A Journey to the Holy Land

 

As part of our discovery about our own journeys we are looking at parts of the Holy Land; Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Sacred places, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, 2000 years on in our own time with changes and challenges but still a deep sense of God’s presence.

The Holy Land is the place in which Jesus grew up and carried out his ministry. It is an area about the size of Wales, although it has many different parts.

Physically it is set on the edge, the edge of the Mediterranean and Europe, the edge of The Middle East and Africa.

The valley of the River Jordan is a rift valley and is the deepest valley in the world. It develops from the Sea of Galilee and continues to the Dead Sea. Further south it reaches the Red Sea.

It is featured many time in the Old and New Testament. It continues to this day to be a place of friction and war.

Read more at Lent Course 2019 as the journey evolves over four weeks in Lent

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Faith goes walkabout, Lent, pilgrimage, theological | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Lent Course, A Journey to the Holy Land

Hoi An, Walkabout Vietnam

Hoi An in Central Vietnam – a place of transforming light, colour and peace.

In October 2019 I travelled to Hoi An in Central Vietnam for a short stay. A time to find some peace and relaxation, time to off load a little. My own cycling adventures in Hoi An were not so overloaded as the girl with the bike, but somehow she reminded me of myself… valiantly carrying with a smile on her face.

The Vietnamese people are very peaceful, determined and friendly. Couldn’t resist the lady offering boat rides for £2.oo.

It has taken me a little while but I have included in Faith Goes Walkabout sections with a new style presentation.

 

Central Vietnam is a great place to visit if you have the chance.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Faith goes walkabout | Tagged , | Comments Off on Hoi An, Walkabout Vietnam

Signs of Hope & Blessings

Bless You – That’s my line!

Blessings, God Bless You, Blessed are the poor, the hungry, those who mourn, and those who are hated because of their faith…

What does it mean, blessings, blessed, bless you? Is it really a sign of hope, when hope is needed? Like the first daffodils in Spring, blessings for us all at the end of winter, we hope!

It seems that many people use the term, ‘Bless’, ‘bless you, bless him, and bless her’

I find it hard when people say that as I think what do they mean?

So, when people say to me ‘Oh, bless you,’ I often reply, ‘that’s my line!’

I must admit I deviated quite a bit from my sermon on the Beatitudes today, it seemed that hope was what was needed.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Faith goes walkabout | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Signs of Hope & Blessings

Candlemas

This is a turning point for the church year. We now move from Christmas and Epiphany towards Easter and Lent, a turning point from looking behind to looking ahead, symbolic and preparing ourselves for Easter.

I think that Jesus must have grown up learning some of the trade of a carpenter as Joseph, I wonder what he made in wood, I imagine him carving and creating. A favourite picture of mine is taken in Avila, Spain and is of a statue over the entrance to a church. It is of Jesus with a saw in one hand and holding his father’s hand as they are walking.

Candlemas – a time when Jesus is taken as a baby to the temple in Jerusalem.  Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and declares that he is a light to lighten the Gentiles. A light in our own darkness.

A time when we move from Christmas and Epiphany towards Easter.

It is in a way, where the plan for earth and heaven collide, a meeting point. Luke cleverly draws us all in to that story wanting to know more and in a way looking at our own journeys and life’s plans.

Processions or just taking a single candle out in the darkness tonight, all will be a pathway  and alight for our own journeys.

Read more on Sermons 2019.

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

Posted in theological | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Candlemas

That’s My Pitch!

Darkness and on the road. But not like the Wise Men.

Some weeks ago, just before Christmas I went to London and was walking along the road towards The British Library. I noticed a hooded figure lighting up a cigarette in a corner, small, covered in black jacket with a hoodie.

I walked on and then heard a wailing from behind me. There were great crowds of people and no-one else seemed to notice this distressing call from behind, saying,  ” No, you can’t go there, that’s my pitch. Get out! It’s mine, I have it from Big Issue, it’s mine!”

A much larger man was in her space by the wall. He was not giving it up either despite emany wails, hits and tears!

I carried on to the library and had a coffee.

When I came out, it was nearly dark. There by the side of the road was my little figure, squatting on the road, cigarette in mouth, tears down her face, on the phone talking to someone about her problem.

Now, why I walked past a second time, I just don’t know! Please don’t remind me of the story of The Good Samaritan!

So, a month later, Jan 16th, I was walking back along the same piece of road in the dark. And yes, there was my girl, in her own pitch, in her claimed place on the streets of London, not selling Big Issue, but fast asleep, with a mountain of sleeping bags, wrappers, newspapers and other stuff. She looked about 16.

At least she was still with us, and I’m sure or I pray for the certainty, that other rough sleepers keep an eye on her, or maybe the local homeless charity or Camden borough.

What a way to live in 2019 in London!

Rev’d Sue Martin

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on That’s My Pitch!