Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 13 November 2022

 This week, I visited a cosmetic surgeon. Before anyone remarks, about time too, let me correct that to write that I went for my regular skin cancer check-up at a clinic which happens to also perform cosmetic surgery. You know, a range of stuff from getting rid of moles, touching up blemishes, Botox fillers, to chin tucks. I could do with a chin tuck or two, mind you, and a tummy tuck, but that’s not why I pop along every 6 months to have the doc hover his magic magnifying camera over sus spots.

Leisa says that when she imagines me, it’s from more than 30 years ago by the ramparts of my namesake’s, Richard the Lionheart’s, castle in Normandy. Certainly when I call her to mind if she’s not physically present with me, it’s as a flower-crowned bride sauntering up the aisle of Geebung Uniting. We all do this, I think, remember people as they were, for good or ill. Today as I type this is Remembrance Day. “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.”

I love Song of Songs. Her friends see the shepherd’s girlfriend as unfashionably dark, scarred by long, arduous hours working in a vineyard. While her lover can only exclaim, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!” We look back on our lives, nostalgic for youth and vigour, mourning lost love and lost loved ones, and remorseful for, as the General Confession puts it, “We have done those things which we ought not to have done … and there is no health in us.” But our shepherd lover who “loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph 5) looks forward, not back, to a time when, having made us holy, He will “present us to Himself, radiant, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish.” No Botox needed.

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