A Marooned 80th Birthday Blessing

 

My 80th birthday is on Monday March 9th. But three things conspired against a celebration of the Big Day.

First, those who keep Lent won't celebrate on a normal day.  So I decided to celebrate it on the Eve of the 9th, which is a Sunday and therefore a Feast Day.

Second, I welcomed Holy Island Open Gate Staff's generosity in hosting it.  When I issued invitations with my Christmas newsletter I cursorily looked at tide tables and invited everyone to come between 11.30 am and 4.30 pm.  However, this period is when the tide is closed, not open, so people have been ringing to say they will not be able to arrive in time.

Third, winter viruses have struck. The Open Gate staff went down with flu, Robert was taken to hospital, Sister Margot's ten US pilgrims were told they would not be able to return home the following day unless Robert was declared Coronus-free. He was. Then I got a bug after eating a restaurant meal. I was so ill I slept from 2.0 pm until 9.0 am 34 hours later!

Had the island celebration become like an Agatha Christie who dunnit?  What would be the end of it?

I decided that, like the biblical patriach Jacob, I would produce a resume of God's hand on my life, ending with a Jacob-like blessing on all my friends, family and spiritual children.  I will give this to every guest present, and send it to whoever:

1940 war baby born at Aylesbury UK

1950's Woking Grammar School - reborn of the Spirit.

1960's London studies and ordained at St. Chad's Cathedral Lichfield; served curacy in Stoke-on-Trent

1970's We pledged to build the peace of the world in the streets of London among Windrush incomers

Thetford, Bible Society, politics, inner healing

1980's Establishing 'one family of Christians for one neighbourhood' -a village of God supported by all churches.

1992-2011 Guardian of dispersed Community of Aidan and Hilda

1996-2017 On Holy Island of Lindisfarne

established Open Gate Retreat House and Celtic Christianity Library

July 2010 Life vows on a boat in London

2011 'Founding Guardian' for ever of Community of Aidan and Hilda

November 2017 moved into Borderlands

2020 Completed fortieth book and autobiography 

........

A blessing (c.f. biblical Jacob) on all who have touched my life:

I do not wish that you will be as unruly as Reuben or as violent as Simeon.

I wish that you will be strong and alert as Judah, a safe harbour like Zebulun, 

sturdy like Issachar, bearing beautiful fruit

and a storehouse like Joseph.

 

Posted at 12:48pm on 7th March 2020
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