It’s Sunday

Song for Nobody

 

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)

A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.

 

Thomas Merton

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Sunday

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

A return to love – Marianne Williamson

It’s Sunday

A Gaelic blessing for all who read this post:

May charm, beauty, completeness and security

be with you and yours this day

Unity of Spirit

This week, in the community that I now inhabit, we have been marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with worship in 3 different churches – a new departure in these parts apparently.  So it was that I found myself at the front of a Roman Catholic church reading these words:

I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said “This is My Body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me”.  In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me….

There was no actual bread and wine involved, but it was immensely powerful to be able to say those words with their myriad resonances in that context.  On the one hand we were acknowledging that when it comes to the essentials of the Christian faith we are united, on the other we were all deeply aware that we remain divided when it comes to the physical embodiment of our faith in communion.

There was something very important about facing both those realities together, for in doing so we were laying down foundations for new ways of relating.  Outwardly, I suppose this seems like a miniscule step forward, but even without the elements I never expected to be able to say the words of institution beside a Catholic altar – a leap in understanding that’s happened in my ministerial lifetime.

It’s Sunday

 

Words of Wisdom indeed:

God has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God.

I know that everything God does will endure for ever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.

Ecclesisastes 3:11-14

 

Sculpting the present

I was lucky enough to spend time in Edinburgh recently and whilst there visited the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art where there was a fascinating exhibition of sculpture.

After pausing with Henry Moore outside:

I was drawn to a room full of Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.  Then, I began to pay attention to the rest of the exhibition and to the chronologically sequential way it was set out.

In their time Moore and Hepworth, and others of their generation, were seen as  breaking from traditional representative sculpture in a radical way – although it can be argued that their work was more of an evolution than a brand new departure. However,  they were still making statements through their work and Hepworth’s work often reflected the landscapes she inhabited.

As the exhibition moved on through the 20th century it introduced me to artists who rejected the idea of making any sort of statement, and even playfully poked fun at Moore and his generation.  I need to go back to engage with the exhibition again  – there were places I wanted to linger, and pieces that challenged my assumptions about what art is about.

Some thoughts have been stirred for me about the evolution of attitudes to sculpture mirroring the evolution of attitudes towards church. I wonder if there is some parallel about people no longer looking for literal truths, fixed ideas and meaningful certainties ?   The rejection of those motifs doesn’t mean that our western/northern societies are places where people don’t care about beauty and passion; maybe in our time we are looking for conduits that are different from those that have existed since the Renaissance or the Reformation.

It’s Sunday

Wondrous  God,

 of all time

and every place,

we meet you above us

around us

and within us.

 

You put the world at our feet

and heaven within our grasp.

Your beauty and love

are mirrored in our midst.

Your truth and light

are eternally captivating.

 

In you is hope

and

with you is change.

We turn to you

and relax

into your Presence……



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.