Take a System Break

•March 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

THE WORD world in the Gospels doesn’t mean creation. It implies the systems that human beings come up with to administer their societies. So, it really means, The System or else it sometimes refers to the people who are caught up in it. The System is almost always going to be in diametric opposition to the Way, the Truth and the Life, by its very nature, that it is conceived in the first place as a means of control and stabilization. The conscious follower of Christ, born (again) of the Spirit, is like the wind, not controlled nor stable. (S)he is in the world but not of the world. Hiraeth for the kingdom of heaven is the emotional mist in the psyche of the follower of Christ.

So, who are we, if we say we are Christ’s body, and what is our purpose?

If we just take a break from our programmed, religion-doctrined ideas about God, it is not too difficult to realise that much of our language about God Almighty, Lord, King etc is misleading. I am not saying it is wrong to make intercession to the Lord God Almighty, we know when we do that there is a transference of meaning in the power of those words. But what I am saying is let’s do it consciously. Let’s notice, when we pray or read, the vulnerability which God chooses to reveal in the New Testament. Jesus takes no System titles for himself and he does not seem to envisage his followers taking over the world. If we take away our indoctrined lenses, we can see in the Gospels that the most Jesus seemed to hope for is that his disciples might become a little flock (Luke 12:32), or like a little salt, leaven or yeast (Matthew 13). Jesus imbues the patience and humility to trust a slow leavening process.

We are programmed to worry that our churches are not full of people waving their arms in Christ-praising ecstasy. But that was never the plan! Christ’s hope was and is that there’d be just enough people who, like Abram in our Hebrew Bible reading today, Paul in the New Testament, or like the psalmist, are prepared to walk out of the safety of systemic country or kindred, lift up their eyes to the hills and go faith to be the leaven in the dough and so save the entire world from blind delusion and self-destruction.

Muster live at Club Integral

•March 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

and to think it was once enough for me to listen to the Jesus and Mary Chain. Thank you Dan

Dan Powell

James and I did Muster at The Others in Stoke Newington a couple of weeks ago, we liked it enough to put it on Soundcloud. I also got to play in a trio with Annie Kerr and Kev Moore at the same event as Gus Garside was indisposed (by Storm Doris, he was stuck in Manchester).

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STOLEN CHILD

•February 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there…”                                                                                                                            ~ Exodus 24.12

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Come away o human child, to the waters and the wild…

     “…WITH A FAERY, hand in hand, for the world’s more full of weeping, than you can understand…” I love the bardic melodies in the poems of the Irish mystic, WB Yeats. They feel to me as natural as the sea. Yeats’ words seem to dance like the notes and grace notes of a Gaelic reel, so free and yet so deeply laden with the hiraeth of a wandering soul that somehow walks the shrouded lines between catching a glimpse at something and the realisation that probably that something can never really be retold. The voices in the poems seem at once lonely and yet wholly befriended and befriending. In Stolen Child, the reader is called, through Celtic mythology, into contemplation and so to discover a more innocent wildness of being than the sad and disconnected world that has become the political and social landscape of our lives.

Lent is a call to our deeper selves, urging us into the deserts and wastelands of our consciousness, offering us the space in which we might remember or discover whom really are, beneath the layers of anaesthetic sold us so easily and enticingly by the philosophic traders in the material. “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there…”, says I AM   to Moses in our reading from Exodus. We are told the prophet stayed there 40 days and 40 nights.  “Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves”, remembers Matthew in the Gospel passage. On the mountain, in the wild, God shows what is real. For the one who will stop a while and steal a gaze into the mist and so be graced “eyes to see”, the one who contemplates by opening the heart and so finds a blessed descent from the noisy mind, who listens for the melody of the poet, for this one, and perhaps only for a moment, the veil of truth is lifted.

If all this sounds a bit exclusive, and Moses and the fishing-for-men big three does, doesn’t it – well, according to the Gospel, if the Gospel really is the Message of Jesus Christ, it is not exclusive at all! Every breath and every word on Jesus’ lips breathes and teaches that God wants to reveal God’s self to every single one of us! So, come on. Take some time. There is much going on in Gower this Lent, in churches and outside. Come with us or travel alone but anyway come away o human child, to waters and the wild

TRUE RELIGION (BREAK THE YOKE)

•February 3, 2017 • 1 Comment

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? ~ Isaiah 58. 6-7

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       RELIGION and spirituality may walk hand in hand, like lovers, and sometimes they do. All too often though, religion is arrested and enchained by rulers and oppressive control systems. The various prophets recorded in Isaiah speak into this condition. Paul speaks into it. Jesus speaks into it. Every biblical reading, any Sunday or any time we open the Bible, speaks into it. Religion contains many gifts and it can set us free or it can be used to tie us up and disable our spirit. Then we might use religion ourselves to close down our hearts and drug ourselves with programmes of fake happiness, not because we want to but because unconsciously we are trained that way. Jesus says, “Wake up!” “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…”

We all know what is real, deep inside. When you go into the garden this week, you might be filled with thoughts of what you must do to prepare the garden for Spring and Summer and you might start clearing, digging, planting… but then suddenly you might notice the earth, the life around you, and sense, in a way words can’t say, that you are one with the earth and the breeze and the life…and you will fall into prayer. And after a while, or straight away, your prayer will have no words. And you might know that you are in the presence of God. You might even realise that that Presence is not separate from you, that actually nothing that really is, is separate from you. Ah now, the chains? Where are the chains? Just let the prayer and the noticing go on… Heddwch chi…

FEED ME

•January 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

‘Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’

 ~ 1 Kings 17.8-9

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“I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar … for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

       GOD has told his mightiest living prophet of the day to go somewhere, it could be anywhere, and he will be fed by a woman whom God himself has prepared for the task. But when Elijah gets there, he finds the woman hasn’t really got any food at all and she doesn’t seem to be aware of any high purpose she might have. In fact, she has given up any expectation of getting through the famine of a long drought and simply wants to scrabble together a tiny last meal to share with her child before they lie down together and wait for death to take them from their misery. No doubt the last thing she thinks she needs right now is a wild-eyed, matty-haired man of God asking her for something to eat!

We could think about Elijah’s faith in following through on a seemingly hopeless situation but this isn’t really about him. He’s been fed by ravens in the wilderness and sucked water from a rock to quench his thirst, so this probably doesn’t even seem too unpromising to him now. No. This is about the woman.

When Elijah commands her to do as she says she intends to except that she must feed him first, she does what he says! Why? Is she just so desperate that she’ll do what this loser says because he is forceful enough, and she and her son are going to die anyway, so what’s the point in arguing about it? Well, no doubt there is a Dylanesque element of, “When ya ain’t got nothing, ya got nothin’ t’lose” about it, but there is something more than that here. When the man of God speaks to her, there is something deep inside her that knows that what is happening to her is of God.

Why?

Because deep down inside, every creature, everything that lives, knows the Maker and recognizes authenticity. God really has prepared every single one of us!

        What will it take to make us see?

                                                      And then if we see, what are we going to do to wake the others?

Gwyr, Listen To Me O Coastlands

•January 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

LISTEN TO ME

•January 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me. (Isaiah 49.1)

You, out there on the edge of the world, Gŵyr, crooked little rock jutting out from the land of Gauls into the big sea, I’m talking to you. People of fishermen and farmers, I’m calling you to be fishers and farmers of men. You are to be a rock in this time. I name you Cephas…the Rock

‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the llans of Rhydian or Gwnno or Dewi  and to restore the survivors of the Cymru Cymraeg; I will give you as a light to the nations,  that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth…’ 
(Isaiah 49.6)

Oh you are a little people, small in number, one or two of you quite long in years, but you know me and I know you. You have heard my Word and you have taken it to heart. Children of the mist, people of the marsh, you are more than you believe. I am putting my trust in you. Put your trust in me. You have been given everything you need, witness of saints, teaching of the enlightened, Sacrament and Word, offered by Grace, in wisdom and truth

…in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1.5-7)

Wait for the Lord. Wait and find him revealed, already here, in the grass and in the wind, coming in from the sea, descending from the sky, holding you in the womb of Mother Earth. Ah, there, can you see, you have always been known, named and unchained. In the winter darkness, in the warm soil of the Mother, you are nourished and fed with body and blood of the Lover, breathing the mystical breath of Ruach, Life-giving, Life-supporting Spirit.

Stay a little longer in the warm hold of the Mother. Spring will come soon. Then travel through Dewi Sant and through Lent and be reborn in Easter Light. Take the power of Resurrection, infused with radiance and the brightest, brightest Light, and shine: spirit, immortal light…

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’

Take your light to the nations. Let them understand where the Rabbi stays…in the heart of every one who is opened. Shine your light. I have given you as a light unto the nations…

You, out there on the edge of the world, Gŵyr, crooked little rock jutting out from the land of Gauls into the big sea, I’m talking to you. People of fishermen and farmers, I’m calling you to be fishers and farmers of men. You are to be a rock in this time. I name you again, Cephas…

Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away!

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