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  • On God as metaphor...

    A couple of interesting, and quotable, quotes I found this morning when preparing for this afternoon's Drop In and interative reflection (both from a book called 'Wearing God' by Lauren Winner).  Please ignore any typos.

    "The child became a man and the man became a preacher whose sermons were full of commonplace things: seeds and nets, coins and fishes, lilies of the field, and birds of the air.  Wherever he was, he had a knack for looking around him and weaving what he saw into his sermons, whether it was sparrows for sale in the marketplace, labourers lining up for their pay, or a woman glimpsed through a doorway kneading her family’s bread… ‘the kingdom of heaven is like this”, he said over and over again, comparing things they knew with something they knew nothing about and all of the sudden what they knew had cracks in it, cracks they had never noticed before, through which they glimpsed bright and sometimes frightening new realities… Every created thing was fraught with divine possibility; wasn’t that what he was telling them?  Every ho-hum details of their days was a bread crumb leading them into the presence of God, if they would just pick up the trail and follow."

    Barbara Brown Taylor


    “My God, my God, thou art a direct God, may I not say a literal God, a God that wouldst be understood literally and according to the plain sense of all thou sayest, but thou art also (Lord, I intend it to thy glory, and let no profane misinterpreter abuse it to thy dimunition), thou art a figurative, a metaphorical God too, a God in whose words there is such a height of figures, such voyages, such peregrinations to fetch remote and precious metaphors, such extensions, such spreadings, such curtains of allegories, such third heavens of hyperboles, so harmonious elocutions, so retired and so reserved expressions, so commanding persuasions, so persuading commandments, such sinews even in thy milk, and such things in thy words, as all profane authors seem of the seed of the serpent that creeps, thou art the Dove that flies.”

    John Donne

  • Nine years 'young'...

    Nine years ago I became history when I preached as the first ordained and accredited woman to preach as 'minister in sole charge' of a Baptist Church in Scotland having been formally inducted the day before.
    My good friend and wise woman Ruth Gouldbourne preached me in, and my equally good friend and wise man Jim Gordon concluded his term as interim moderator. That day we planted hycinth bulbs and I spoke of new beginnings. A lot has happened since then.
    Curiously, the editors of two celebratory publications have asked me to contribute something that will appear next year... perhaps it's good that BUS will reach a 10 and BUGB reach a 100 at the same time. Certainly it's an honour to be part of it.
    I remain bemused that I'm seen as a pioneer, as someone worth celebrating - my impostor syndrome keeps my feet firmly planted on the floor. Many, many moons ago (like around 40 years), in an unguarded moment my Mum said to me, 'I think that one day you might be famous.' Well no, not famous, but it seems I am history in my own lifetime!!

  • Back to Work...

    After two full weeks away, in which I was mostly holidaying, I am back to work.

    It was lovely on Sunday to meet new people who had arrived at church for the first time during my absence as well as to catch up (a bit) with regulars.

    For me, the measure of a successful holiday is that makes me glad to be home again.  I had a lovely time.  I saw all sorts of interesting things and walked miles every day.  But by the last couple of days I was ready for home.

    As I return to blogging, I am not promising to post as frequently as I have done in the past... there have been times when it has become something of a chore, and probably not that interesting or inspiring for readers.  We'll  see how it goes - for now I have an extremely long "to do" list to work through and a meeting at 10:30 to prepare for!

    Thanks for reading.