The Parishes of St.Andrews, Northwold, All Saints, Wretton with Stoke Ferry & Christ Church, Whittington

Inside this issue:

Reader: Keith MacLeod, 4 Rubens Way, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 9LB, telephone 01366 386103, email: keith.macleod@virgin.net

been granted.   So they welcomed the holy man into their house, in the hope that they would benefit in the same way.
When it was time for dinner Nathan politely asked the holy man to sit at the head of the table.   In the kitchen Marta cut the best pieces of meat from the joint, for herself and Nathan to eat later, and brought in the rest.
'Sir,' Marta said, as she served the holy man, 'we're having the best meat in the house - in honour of you.'
The next morning the holy man said he must leave.   Nathan and Martha did not press him to stay.   They simply stood in front of him, waiting for him to ask them their dearest wish.   The holy man slowly put on his cloak;  and then just as he was leaving her asked them the same question he had asked Brendan and Maureen. But no sooner had the holy man asked the question, than Nathan and Martha began to argue:  she wanted silk dresses and velvet gowns, while he wanted a bigger farm and more cows.
'Why can't I have nice clothes to wear, and beautiful jewellery?  -  I've worked hard for you all my life,' screamed Martha, stamping her feet.
'Because I want to be the biggest and most important farmer in the whole district,' Nathan yelled back.
While they were shouting at each other, the holy man quietly slipped away.   For another ten minutes they continued to argue;  and only then did they notice he had gone.   They stared at each other in silence, realizing what fools they were.
'We've spent all our lives bickering,' sobbed Martha, breaking the silence.
'And look where it's got us,' Nathan added.
A year later on Christmas Eve the holy man again came to the village;  and again he called on Nathan and Martha.   Now they were genuinely delighted to see him.   And Nathan ran out to tell Brendan and Maureen that the holy man had returned, inviting them to come to dinner. Martha served the

Keith MacLeod's monthly report

As I prepare these notes, I am sitting in gorgeous hot sunshine, surrounded by flowering and very green shrubs, climbers and trees, with a myriad tadpoles kicking up a stink in the middle of the pool. I am very conscious that in a couple of days it will be Trinity Sunday.   With these thoughts in mind I thought I might treat you to a little homespun theology and a Winter's Tale.
A Little Theology  -  The Trinity
The much-maligned doctrine of the Trinity is an assertion that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there is only one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit mean that the mystery beyond us, the mystery among us and the mystery within us are all the same mystery.   Thus the Trinity is a way of saying something about us and the way we experience God.
The Trinity is also a way of saying something about God and the way he is within himself - that is to say, God does not need the Creation in order to have something to love because within himself
love happens.   In other words (this is for the semanticists and word-smiths!) the love that God is love not as a noun but as a verb - and this verb is both reflexive and transitive!
If the idea of God as Three in One seems far fetched and too confusing for consideration, take a look in the mirror one day.   There you will see
(a) the interior life known only to yourself and those to whom you choose to communicate it (the Father?).   There is also (b) the visible face which in some measure reflects that inner life (the Son?).   And there is also (c) the invisible power that you have to communicate that interior life in such a way that others do not merely know about it, but also know it in the sense of its becoming part of who they are (the Holy Spirit?).   
Yet, what you are looking at in the mirror is clearly and indivisibly You.

A Celtic Parable
A holy man arrived in the village one Christmas Eve.   A bitter wind was blowing from the north.   The holy man knocked on the door of the first cottage he saw. It belonged to Brendan and his wife Maureen.   They urged him to come in and share their Christmas dinner.   So that evening the three of them sat at the table and ate a wonderful meal.   The next morning the holy man said he must be on his way.   Brendan and Maureen urged him to stay longer.   But he insisted. So Maureen gave him a large breakfast, so he would have ample energy for his journey.   As he was leaving the holy man turned to Brendan and Maureen.
'Tell me the thing you most wish God to provide you in this life,' he asked.
Brendan and Maureen had never before wondered what mattered to them most in life.   For a few moments there was silence. Then Brendan spoke.
'Maureen and I often bicker about silly things.'
'Yes,' added Maureen.   'Our lives would be perfect if we were always loving and affectionate towards one another.'
'And if we never picked silly quarrels with our neighbour,' Brendan said laughing.
'Then,' said the old man, 'your wish shall be granted.'
Sure enough, from that moment onwards Brendan and Maureen stopped arguing, and lived in peace.   And their lives became happy and contented.
A year later on Christmas Eve the holy man again arrived in the village. This time he knocked on the door of Nathan and Marta.   They were a mean, nasty couple. But they had heard about the holy man visiting Brendan and Maureen:  how he had asked their dearest wish, and how that wish had

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