This morning we concluded our short series of services based on Psalms attributed to David with one very loosely based on Psalms 23 and 131, with images of God as shepherd and as mother. Drawing on insights from, among others, Sally McFague and Brian Wren, we focused more on the concept of metaphors (and analogies and similes) as the way that we are able to imagine and so relate to God.
As we do now and then, this was a service in which people were offered options inclduing colouring, writing, pondering questions and sitting with paintings/images inspired by the psalms.
The one at the top of this blog is borrowed from here and is, of the six I chose to use this morning, my favourite. Wonderful colours, lots of hints of other scriptures and lots of symbols (such as peacocks and owls). At its heart, two figures of equal size travel together through the darkness (though the sky is a wonderful starscape) each carrying lanterns and one of them a shepherd's crook.
Among others things, I also shared this by Brian Wren from his book, 'What Language Shall I Borrow' (page 139)
“Are you the friendly God, shimmering, swirling, formless,
Nameless and ominous, Spirit of brooding might,
Presence beyond our senses, all-embracing night,
The hovering wings or warm and loving darkness:
If hope will listen, love will show and tell,
And all shall be well, all manner of things be well.”
Written as a response from a workshop on language in worship, it was pretty impressive. Our own necessarily brief excercise in sharing metaphors and images generated some interesting words - and I may yet have a go at making something of them! So watch this space - but not too hard!!