Recalibrate: transitive verb: to calibrate (something) again… during storms navigation systems gradually drift off course so that the navigator periodically needs a fresh point of reference to recalibrate the navigation system.
During covid lockdowns "recalibration" was a hope-filled fresh word and an idea that helpfully described what we all felt we might have to be doing in the months that lay ahead. The idea has become a reality that now needs to be applied to many aspects of our lives as we tiptoe into a new and nervous future.
In Belvoir Parish, in South Belfast, we have felt drawn to three visual images that will help us re-calibrate ourselves primarily and then everything we are as a parish. We hope these images will become anchor points as we develop new ideas and programmes.
On Mothering Sunday 2021, Chris Bennett, one of our staff team, showed us the jumper his mum had knit for him as a teenager. It was huge. He described it, "This jumper is the dictionary definition of a mother’s love. My mother, no matter what evidence I produce to the contrary, thinks I will one day fit this jumper…what a
thing it is in this critical and discouraging world to have someone who believes the best in you and for you, no matter what." We are trying to re-calibrate our minds to believe that our heavenly father loves us just like that, "believing the best in us and for us". Jeremiah 29:11 (words from a loving God to a people in exile).
So, as a parish, we want that same attitude to permeate every service, every activity, and every relationship; we want to believe the best in each other and for each other, even in the people who have not yet become part of us.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of redeeming a piece of pottery that has been broken. Rather than hiding it, Kintsugi accepts the brokenness as part of the bowl’s history and therefore part of its new beauty.
The miraculous work of the Holy Spirit is to take me, melt me, mould me, fill me – it is His work; all we contribute is our gracious acceptance of His healing and transforming work (Colossians 1:22).
Let’s redeem the brokenness and let it become part of what makes others feel as if they too could be part of this wonderful "Kintsugi" family.
Our stained-glass window in Belvoir is designed to draw us towards the face of Christ at the pinnacle. It was pieced together again many years ago after it was blown into the building by a bomb blast.
In the window, Christ stands above Moses and Elijah, he supersedes the law and the prophets, he draws the disciples upwards.
He is the centre, the highest point, the one to whom all our worship and work is directed (Colossians 1:18).
Jumpers and Kintsugi bowls are nice ideas that begin to reverberate with possibility when recalibrated Christo-centrically.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, before we go recalibrating the worship, the mission, and the discipleship programmes of the church, would you give us the courage to recalibrate our hearts and minds to your latest factory settings? Amen