Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bill Vanstone for Holy Week

As we continue to follow the path of Jesus during this the holiest of weeks I am always reminded of my first priest Bill Vanstone. He took us quietly day by day, slowly approaching the cross.
As a teenager it took quite an effort to get me out of bed but I did it in Holy Week. Bill took a mass at 7am every morning. It was then possible to get to work afterwards.
His influence on my life has been considerable and all of his books are worth reading. The first one "Loves Endeavour. Loves Expense " is about the new housing estate in Rochdale where he was the vicar.
The poem from it is now a hymn. We shall be singing it on Good Friday.
Morning glory,starlit sky
Soaring music,scholars truth
Flight of swallows,autumn leaves
Memories treasure, grace of youth

Open are the gifts of God
Gifts of love to mind and sense
Hidden is loves agony
Loves Endeavour . loves expense

Love that gives, gives ever more
Gives with zeal, with eager hands
Spares not, keeps not, all outpours
Ventures all,it's all expends

Drained is love in making full
Bound in setting others free
Poor in making many rich
Weak in giving power to be

Therefor he who shows us God
Helpless hangs upon the tree
And the nails and crown of thorns
Tell of what God's love must be

Here is God, no monarch he
Throned in easy state to reign
Here is God whose arms of love
Aching, spent, the world sustain..

I was only going to do one verse but found unable to stop.

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