Thought for the week, 8 Dec 13

by Neil Greenhalgh

Have you ever taken a good look at St Mary’s east window, our tapestry in glass? Among a throng of men and women can be found sheep; palm trees; Arabs; an Eskimo, a Tudor hunting dog(?) and even, I am told, a giraffe. It is Isaiah’s vision of the kingdom, of the lion and the lamb, of children and the now harmless viper, remade for the post-war years to replace the window shattered by a bomb. Ahead of it, in the altar space stood, a few days ago, the Royal Mail Choir, and with our Robed Choir and Singers and St Anne’s Community Choir, they testify to the missing element in all this which John the Baptist propounds to his hearers: if you want harmony you have to work at it, you need commitment.

Pride, differences of opinion, clashes of personality, egotism, jealousy and a host of stumbling blocks must all give way if something of lasting beauty is to be achieved. Issues and events must be faced – the people of Glasgow who dropped everything to form a human chain of rescue on a freezing night when tragedy struck at the Clutha Bar, that is the spirit and an example which will long endure. It is the way of the cross, Jesus’ cross and the one we have thrust on us or choose to take up, and ultimately leads to a fuller life. Any less, and as John points out, the stones in their simplicity do better than us.