The Cathedral Connection 27 October 2019

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Sunshine and Gladness

I can still remember the 1970s animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and probably more so one of the songs from it, sung by the Kings Singers.

Building a wall to surround you, Gathering all your treasures around you,
Living a life apart. Not having anyone near you; Building a wall and making them fear you, Saying you have no heart.

You’re a fool if you think you can live Your life without sharing sunshine and gladness; If you think you can live without love, You’re building a wall of sorrow and madness.

You’re building a wall to surround yourself; You’re just building a wall to protect yourself; You’re just building a wall to defend yourself, But you’re building a wall that will break your heart.

 For me, many of these stories and in my case the animated adaptations left me with something that lingered. Something that inspired a fresh look at elements of my own life. It is much like taking a mirror to what is and showing a vista to what might be. The end of story never really being the end.

Today’s parable provides stark lingering questions for us all: where do we place our trust and why do we judge those around us? Questions that are never easy to answer and rather uncomfortable as well. Perhaps it’s just easier to build a wall and deflect further thought?

Christ challenges us to think and reflect offering His love and mercy, for before him there is no need to fear. Our vulnerability is met and welcomed and the fragments of our lives are gathered up and transformed in to glimpses of hope. A hope that transforms how we see ourselves, how we present ourselves to others and in how we respond to them.

So don’t build a wall that will break your heart, instead let yourself be vulnerable and allow Christ’s love to enter and transform you. And don’t let that be the end of the story, when you leave here share that transforming love with all by sharing in their struggles thus building God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, sharing the sunshine and the gladness.

Michael Fletcher, Director of Music

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