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Stand… 13 April 2017

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Life, Ponderings.
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This could be a short post, I fear, as Maundy Thursday is going to be a full day this year. Of course, even as I write this I might do better than I expect. I’d better explain. Before I looked up the word for the day I was concerned that I might not have the time to produce something, hence the fact that I’m actually writing the evening before. The sun has now set, however, so I can claim to be on the eve of Maundy Thursday, channelling the rich tradition of Jewish and Catholic practice with the day starting at sunset. (See Genesis 1 for that…)

The irony is that the set word is exactly what I was worried that I might not achieve: I might fail to deliver! It’s odd what my responses to words are. Sometimes they are scripture verses, sometimes they are common sayings, this time they’ve come in the form of music and lyrics. Nothing to do with the daily rounds of the postman, although that has reminded me of what I sometimes think as the Postman’s Hymn (which includes the line “come, almighty to deliver”), but the distinctly unspiritual, but highly memorable turpin“Stand and deliver!” as cried by the highwayman, the unfortunate traveller finding himself on the wrong end of a brace of flintlock pistols and enjoined to surrender his valuables especially. And the music? That rendered by the 1980s phenomenon that were Adam and The Ants!

At the opposite end of the spectrum, in all senses, is represented by the Lord’s Prayer and it’s petition to “deliver us from evil” – as set in David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus. Not delivering worldly goods into the hands of the robber, but asking for deliverance from the powers of evil, or, in some versions of the Lord’s Prayer, the archetypal Evil One, Satan.

So, at the end of this rather short post I should, at least be able to deliver this to you, my readers. I can only trust that my clergy companions will be equally success in delivering me to the Maundy Thursday service at Peterborough Cathedral, and returning me home before the solemnity of the sacred crunches gears with the celebration of the secular that is to be found in the form of the Students’ Union Societies and Volunteering Awards at the Northampton Guildhall!

FOOTNOTE: despite all my careful planning it would appear that my attempt at scheduling the post failed… hence the delay. Foiled again!

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