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Reflections

Osbaldwick and Murton Parish Link

May 2011 - The Spiritual Maypole

Much has been written about the Maypole, some good and some not so good. The anthropologist, Mircea Eliade, theorized that the maypoles were simply a part of the general rejoicing at the return of summer and the growth of new vegetation. In this way they bore similarities with the May Day garlands which were also a common festival practice in Britain and Ireland. It’s a time to rejoice, to dance in community and to lift up our spirits particularly after the harsh winter, now past. For the young this comes naturally - for they are naturally young in spirit and enthusiastically engaged in life. However I can see that many of my readers might ruefully comment, “If only” - “those were the days” - for dancing round the Maypole with a walking stick and Zimmer frame doesn’t seem to quite capture the spirit of the day.

Jesus tells a very short parable which pokes fun at people who believe they are too old in spirit and stuck in a rut. “We play the flute for you and you did not dance”, so Jesus says. You see believing in Jesus, the Son of God, is fun and spiritually uplifting even though there are those who would not have it so. But don’t let that be you - for dancing in the spirit is a way of keeping young, of engaging in community and it doesn’t require either walking stick or Zimmer frame.

Have fun in the Lord. Jack Booth


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