PENTECOST – THE DANCING AND THE PAINTING

•May 19, 2018 • 1 Comment

 

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” I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away רוח הקודש (ruach haqodesh – spirit of truth or Spirit of JHWH) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send her to you …When the Spirit of truth comes, she will guide you into all the truth…”

THERE ARE SO MANY WORDS in our readings this morning, so many I had to keep reducing the font to let them all in. Some of the words are packed with theology. The Greek word, παράκλητος Paraclete, translated in our version today Advocate, for example, has had many books of theology written about it, theologians over the ages striving to unpack it’s meaning. Who knows really why the writer of the gospel chose that word and would he or she be amazed, amused or bemused by all the fuss and mental gymnastics it has inspired? So many words! Dry bones animated, right judgement prayed for, fishermen and desert travelers speaking simultaneously in the diverse tongues of ancient Afro-Eurasia, promises of “portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist”, dark suns and moons of blood…where do I start, what words can I write and hope to make sense? Words, words, words…
What if Pentecost isn’t just something that happened a long time ago, that we remember each year 49 days after Easter, forgetting again its Judaic root of 50 days after Passover, fondly call it the birthday of the church, then sing some hearty songs and go home? What if Pentecost is still going on? What if God is still saying something to the world, to the people, to creation? What if God hasn’t just given us a history book of fairy stories and a set of religious rituals and rules to make us “behave” and left us to get on with it? What if our very lives and being are infused with the ruach hagodesh, the spirit of Truth, spirit of JHWH, spirit of What Is, of I AM? What if our lives and being are the very canvass on which God paints? What if we just shut up and let God paint?

 

THE ONENESS

•April 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

 

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” I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower… Abide in me as I abide in you.”   (painting by Liliane Davies, Penclawdd, April 2018)

In Liliane’s painting of the mist at Mew Slade, which she painted last week after picking up the litter on the beach, the mist is like elements manifest as oneness: earth meets sea meets sky. As sea meets sky, mist rises; as sky meets earth, mist descends, rises and descends, evaporates, re-manifests… Indeed, a painting itself is elements manifesting in oneness but let’s not get caught in an endless intellectual spiral here! The point is made. In the Nag Hamadi scroll which we have come to know as The Gospel of Thomas, it is recorded that, “Jesus said, ‘It is I who am the light which is before them all. It is I who am the All. From Me did the All come forth, and unto Me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find Me there” (Saying 77). There is nowhere that Christ isn’t. Christ is in us and we are in Christ, as is all that is. It is separation that is illusion however we have been “educated” to the contrary.
Also recorded in the scroll is a question from Jesus’ disciples, “When will you be visible to us, and when shall we behold you?” Jesus replies, “When you strip naked without being ashamed, and take your garments and put them under your feet like little children and tread upon them, then you will see the child of the Living, and you will not be afraid” (Saying 37). In the Book of Genesis, it is when Adam and Eve become ashamed in their newfound awareness of their nakedness that the illusion of separation comes into the story of human being. They have sought the knowledge of the mind of God, desired to know how it all works so that they might take control of their lives, put on the robes of the learned. They have bought the illusion and found themselves to be separated from the Garden, from God, from whom they really are.

But in Christ, we can remove the robes, trample them into the dust, and come home.

Christ calls us

and Christ enables us.

 

CENYDD

•April 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Cenydd’s Island, Burry Holmes, is a thin place. Cenydd had a heritage here in 5th Century and he taught the people of West Gower about the Way of Christ. This is recorded in his memory. Rhythmic panting is by Libby.

The didj was made by didgeridoo artist and maker Joe Caudwell from driftwood washed up on the beach at the Isle of Wight. According to legend, Cenydd was washed up on Burry Holmes, a the small island where I am playing here, in a little coracle into which he was dumped because he was the illegitimate baby of a West Walean tribal chief.

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THREE DIDJ MEDITATIONS

•April 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

BROKEN

•April 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Maybe the final mix of this track at last. It will be on the Celts album which in  post production now and will be release before end of Spring. Here’s the running order for the album, which has been composed and recorded by Fr Tim and flautist Leslie Sheills during the last 12 months or so. It is inspired by the druids, monks and priests of the early Celtic church in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and the North of England.

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MOTHERING ~ LETTING GO

•March 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

 

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When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river…

 

THE MOTHER LETTING GO is a mythical theme common to humanity irrespective of time or place. Danu, of the flowing waters, Queen of the fertile land, the Great Mother Goddess of the ancient Celts, Don, Dana or Ana in Welsh, the Creator Goddess of the Tuatha De Danann, the first known Celtic tribes of Ireland, is seen putting her baby into the marsh river in the picture above. The legend of St Cenydd’s mother on the Loughor bank vaguely echoes it. Our readings today give us the Hebrew story of Miriam and her baby Moses and St Luke’s poetic verses about the pain of the mother who, though blessed with the birth of her son Jesus, will ultimately be unable to protect him or keep him. Jesus is her son but she does not possess him and she will have to let him go, even many times until finally she must watch him die on a cross.
This Mothering Sunday falls on the first Sunday after burying my own mum at Ilston, the church llan of my youth and of her Christ-loving, human heart. I am doing my best to let her go, and I know, counter intuitively, that the letting go sets her free to be everywhere for me. I feel it and I know it but still completely letting go doesn’t come easy. Letting go comes only from the deepest, unconditional, God-like love.
And now I remember the tears of my darling mother in the days before I set off aged 17 to ‘become a man,’ with a guitar, a few pounds, a one-way bus ticket to a champagne grape-picking field in France and then a hitch-hiker’s instinct to who knows where. Tears which must have burned her face, a letting go that I know pierced her own soul…
Mam i fi, diolch yn fawr. Dw i’n garu ti bob amser x

(This) Lent 2018 – a poem by Nigel

•March 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Here is a poem written today by my good friend and colleague, Fr Nigel Doyle, who is recovering after a long awaited knee operation. The sacramental stream making her beautiful way to Pwll Du is a place where Nigel will soon be able to walk to again. Yes, now he reckons he will be able to walk on water!


This Lent
Long awaited surgery
A twisted knee corrected
Post-operative convalescence
Time to reflect,
this Lent
No rushing to lead worship,
Listen to my own teaching sermons
on being quiet and reflective
on the way to the cross
Liturgical busyness!
Now, I have time to be
spiritually corrected
quiet
reflective
about the forty days and nights,
Holy Week and Easter.
Time to read, listen, pray
what His sacrifice signifies.

No longer running to Easter
A slower journey
this Lent
Not even walking to Easter,
Just hobbling,
Supported and tethered to two crutches
Enjoying enforced rest
and take in spring’s renewal
Watch, listen, enjoy the
earth’s smells of growth
Be thankful for this gift.
Being a patient, patient is not easy
Bumps and knocks take time to heal
Realising
I am no longer twenty-one
I no longer have Action Man knees!

Overwhelmed by
prayers offered
e-greetings by email and Facebook
messages and greetings passed on from
friends
phone calls
all loving and concerned
for my recovery
Grateful for long
suffered pain now gone
replaced by a new less intensive
pain of recovery

Allow others to minister lovingly to
my physical and
spiritual needs
The shared gift of Home Communion.
This Lent
I will try to
take a back seat
comfortably
without any anxiety
To be happy to listen
To accept the diminishments
that come to me
Take time
Accept circumstances
and know
Recovery will be slow
Enjoy this sacrament,
the present moment
Seeing your hand Lord in
the darkness, and brightness
this Lent

 
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