The Gospel according to the Peanuts

Charles M. Schultz, Bantam Press, 1965

I’m taking a look at the Gospel According to Peanuts this morning.

In particular Linus and his blanket.

The Ministry team have been meeting at 930 am of a Sunday for a reflection together. This at the encouragement of our supervisor who we meet with each month for one hour.

The question asked of us to explore over the coming weeks was, what new freedoms have you discovered during the current restrictions?

It reminded me of our grandson Atticus and his blanky.

This item which was a t-shirt belonging to his mum, is something he took with him where ever he went.

If he became up-set he would find blanky and sit somewhere quietly and hang on to it, he would take it to bed with him and if uncertain about anything hang on to it for dear life.

He is a bit older now and is discovering different ways, new ways to manage stuff, blanky is still around but not seen as often, in fact rarely seen at all.

 It got me thinking about how I deal with stuff in the current situation we are in.

In the book by Robert Short, The Gospel According to Peanuts, based on the well know cartoon series, Peanuts.

Short describes the blanket, which belongs to Linus, one of the characters as, a portable security, a source of mental therapy and spiritual blotting paper soaking up fears and frustrations.

Linus describes his blanket as a yard of flannel that comes between him and a nervous break-down.

When asked by Charlie Brown what he would do when was too old to drag it around, Linus responded that he was thinking about having it made into a sports coat.

I’m now thinking about what my blanket is and maybe you are too?

Perhaps questions to consider.

Do we have a blanket?

What is it?

Do we need it?

What new freedoms are we discovering during the current restrictions?

This comic appeared in many newspapers.

Quiet Confidence

In recent days there have been books released with titles like Where is God in a pandemic?, and are these the ‘ends times’. It reminds me of a sign I saw in a country town asking ‘when will Jesus return?’ I wonder if it is people who live in western civilisations who ask these questions? There are places in the world where famine, warfare, and hardships part of the every day. It seems to me that the more privileged we are, the more we expect answers when we face difficult times. I wonder if it is because we feel unsettled as our norms are challenged? We experienced panic purchasing when news broke of a pending pandemic. I wonder if those of us who say the follow Jesus buy into that panic, or do we as Siôn’s sermon on Sunday suggested, be still in the quiet confidence that God is there in the middle of this with us and we don’t need to have troubled hearts? As humans we do have questions, we often find these questions come when we are facing difficult times, it in these times we need to reassure each other that God has not abandon us, God has not wound the world up like a giant clock and flung it into the universe and wandered of elsewhere, NO God is here and we are not alone nor abandoned. Those I meet with who live life in isolation, are often aware of the presence of God. We too can share in that. Let’s comfort each other knowing the assurance of the creators love.

PW 17/05/2020

Freedom

In recent weeks many of the freedoms we take for granted have been taken away from us while we find ways to protect as many as possible from the virus.

Those who know me are aware I am the privileged owner of a motorcycle.

 Harley Davidson has often been marketed as a Freedom Machine, and I have to admit it does give you a sense of freedom. 

With open throttle releasing fuel through the 50 mm carburettor you over take the car or truck, with the sun on your back and the wind in your face cruising down the open road, riding the sweeping curves and open stretches of sealed road with the v-twin throbbing through fishtail exhaust for a brief moment there is a sense of freedom that pauses the cares of the day  if only temporally.

Once you’re home again and the helmet, gloves and cut has been removed the reality of life kicks in and the ride slowly becomes a memory, one that you hope can be revived another day.

Freedom true freedom does not, or so it appears to me to come from mere symbols of freedom, such as a motorcycle.

We have many symbols in our house, some of which are shown below.

But as I look at them, they don’t conjure images of freedom. They may represent the idea of freedom, but do they bring freedom?

There is one cross at the bottom, which we purchased while on the NSW South Coast a couple of years ago. Sadly, the town where the artist live was decimated during the fires last summer.

The artist is portraying the cost of, and sacrifice of war.

Toy soldiers lie at the base of the cross, the carcass of a dead sea bird has been placed on one side while in the other a $ symbol.

Freedom, true freedom comes at a cost, the other symbols one a cross the other a crucifix  these are also symbols of freedom, but again these of themselves are not what brings freedom, much like my desire to be free while riding, perhaps they represent a freedom which comes via the actions of one person, that is so much more than the mere representation of objects.

I wonder if in these trying times we gain comfort from the symbols around us, those things which are familiar, I know I do, BUT, what really inspires me more is the reality that true freedom and the thing that gets us through difficult times in that reality that true freedom comes from Jesus, who is the icon of God and who sent the Holy Spirit and here where true freedom is found.

Freedom that brings Peace, Joy and Love, in spite of the trying circumstance.


Upcoming Events

Sep
22
Tue
11:00 am Tuesday Tea Too
Tuesday Tea Too
Sep 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Stage 4 version: a second tea added during the six week Stay At Home order. Please contact the Elders, Ministers or Church Office for the Zoom information.
4:00 pm Tuesday Tea on Zoom
Tuesday Tea on Zoom
Sep 22 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Please reach out to the church office, one of the Ministers or Elders for the meeting information!
Sep
23
Wed
10:00 am Bible Fellowship
Bible Fellowship
Sep 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
The event occurs on Zoom until further notice.  Contact the office or one of the ministers for the Meeting ID and password for the information!
Sep
27
Sun
2:30 pm Welsh Worship service
Welsh Worship service
Sep 27 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Available on Facebook @melbwelshchurch  and on the media page of our website: www.melbournewelshchurch.com.au