STOCKI SURMISES YESTERDAY'S VIOLENT 12th DAY EVENTS...
LOYALIST VIOLENCE? CONDEMNATION OR GRACE - Stocki Surmises

PERSONAL SOUL SEARCHING ON THIS TWELFTH WEEKEND

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I have used this prayer poem a lot on Soul Surmise and it seems perfect for this weekend. I used it this morning at the end of my sermon as I asked us all in Fitzroy to allow God to search us deep down and reveal any sectarianism within us. It is based on two things.

Firstly, Psalm 139's deep soul searching, which coincidentally Rev. David Campton blogged this morning.

Secondly, it's immediate inspiration was a meeting that my students had with F.W. De Klerk in Cape Town in 2002. The former President of South Africa shared that country's peace process with us. As a member of the Dutch Reformed Church he was open with us about the Christian influence on his decision to reconcile his people with the black majority and set in motion a process that would lead to Nelson Mandela's election as President. The first two rules in working for Reconciliation he told us were first, to search yourself to the marrow of your soul to see what prejudice you bring to the process. After you have rid yourself of those prejudices the second thing to do was to search again and see if you have deluded yourself into thinking you had rid yourself of all of your prejudices!

As I have caressed and collided the Word of God with the World of Belfast's Twelfth weekend I have had to do some soul seraching. To live out the sacrificial, self surrendering and suffering life of Christ in our city is a hard call. We are a country rife with sectarianism; political, religious, cultural, social, sporting and class. The call of Christ to me is to start with my own soul and then give myself to whatever it will take to bring shalom for all.

Once again I use Psalm 139 and F.W. De Klerk's wisdom to get me started.

TO THE MARROW OF MY SOUL

Search me oh God

Down to the very marrow of my soul

Take every selfish part of me away

That would stop me from being whole

Help me peer inside my prejudice

To judge the incentive of all my actions

Make kind the reflexes of my heart

And gentle the strength of my reactions

Help me squint at every weakness

That comes from family and neighbourhood

To smash the idols of sectarianism

And create shalom for everybody's good

So, search me oh God

Down to the very marrow of my soul

Take every selfish part of me away

That would stop me from being whole

And when I’ve let you search oh God

Believing to be in Your Spirit’s collusion

Let me look just one more time

For any remnants of my own delusion.

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