The Tree in the Garden

A young couple moved into a new house. The garden was unkept and empty. So the man planted a tree in the garden.

As the tree grew, so did their family. They had four fine sons who played in the garden, enjoying the shade of the tree in the hot summer months. There was joy and there was sorrow, but mostly joy.

The eldest son was the first to meet his wife and leave home. The whole family attended the wedding, and the next eldest son rejoiced in having a bedroom of his own. But soon he too left, met his partner, and settled down happily.

Mostly joy, but some terrible sorrow. The third son moved out but died in an accident in his new home.

Finally the fourth son also left.

The couple were by themselves in the house with the tree in the garden. They enjoyed many years together, visited by their children, their grandchildren, and even their great grandchildren. But time spares none of us. The man died, and his wife was left alone in the house, with only her memories. Even the visits from her family could not cure her loneliness and her heartache.

Then one night, a great storm hit the garden. The tree, for all its age and size, had shallow roots. It was pulled from the earth and thrown against the house. The woman looked on her uprooted tree, that had watched over her family for a lifetime, and shortly after, she too was dead.

Now men who have no knowledge of the family that lived by the tree will empty her house. A new family will live there and children will once again play in the garden. Maybe they’ll plant a new tree.

The eldest son is called Tony. His wife died the month before Christmas. The second son is my partner, Terry. Their mum died on Dec 23rd. And the tree still lies there, uprooted, in the garden.

RIP Wendy Smallbone (1936-2020)

Rev John Bell of the Iona Community

Some of us have done OK out of the pandemic. With fewer outgoings, our bank accounts have swelled. This is the time to be generous to those charities and individuals who have suffered during the same time.

This isn’t my idea. Jesus thought it up, so it’s definitely the right thing to do.

God the Rapist

The religious nutters in Ireland are up in arms about their Invisible Magic Friend being described as a rapist in a short comedy sketch.

“The five-billion-year-old stood accused of forcing himself on a young Middle Eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will,”

Not sure why they find this offensive as this is exactly what their Big Book of Magic Stuff says happened. Here was my version of the Annunciation a few years ago.

Rev Rob Marshall, an Anglican Priest 
Saturday, 17 December, 2011, 09:12 AM – ,Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Hi Mary, Gabriel here. I would have texted u but that hasn’t been invented yet. Great news!
Who are you?
I told you, I’m Gabriel, the angel Gabriel.
Aha. So what’s this good news then?
The Particularly Invisible Bit of the Invisible Magic Friend has just blessed you.
Has just what?
He’s just blessed you.
You know… blessed.
I don’t follow.
Oh come on, do I have to spell it out? He came in here just now, went underneath your sheet and… you know… blessed you.
Oh, I see! Blessed! That’s a bit of a liberty don’t you think. I mean, usually a girl likes to be courted a little bit. A box of chocolates, some flowers, even an introduction might have been nice.
Yes, well, He’s not really into all that sentimental stuff, what with Him not being human or having any hormones. He really just likes to get on with the business end of things.
He must have been very quick, I didn’t even notice I was being “blessed”.
That’s Him alright! When He wants to bless someone He doesn’t hang about. It’s just straight in there and, woosh, He’s one fast blesser.
So now what?
Well you’ll have a baby boy who, according to prophecy, will be named Emmanuel.
I think I prefer Jesus.
He will be the Messiah.
No one in the family’s called Emmanuel.
He will be the salvation of mankind.
Jesus has got a nice ring to it don’t you think?
You will be worshipped as the replacement mother goddess, as the Queen of Heaven. Well, not worshipped exactly, more sort of… er…
Yes blessed! No! No, no, no, no, no. Not blessed.

And that everyone, is the True Meaning of Advent.