We had a moving time together at the bandstand this morning reflecting on one of the ‘Morning Bell’ messages from Ian Adams this week (which give pointers to prayer each day). Based on the poetry of R S Thomas, the Friday morning message was ‘Listen today for echoes of God. Follow them ))))’ So we reflected on how God constantly reaches out to speak to us of his presence and goodness and love. These we wrote on arches of card. We read Psalm 8 in The Message which ends with words of God’s echoes in his creation and an extract from John Ortberg’s ‘God is closer than you think’ which speaks of every act of nature being God waving ‘hello’. Next we coloured squares of printed paper – with no knowledge of the image – and pieced them together to discover the face of Christ. We know that it is through each other and when we are together that God speaks most clearly of his reality and love and community… Laying down the card arches of recognition of echoes of God in our lives, and seeing these emanating from the face of Christ, created a powerful image.
From there we moved to the magnificent weeping Beech Tree at the Royal Bank of Scotland – pretty central to town – where Steve led us with the following words as we shared bread and wine:
Divine Entanglement with Bread and Wine
Look up, all around, entangled and surrounded, mind-blowingly all enveloping – God’s breathing, God’s love sweeping down and curling around.
Acknowledged blessing and unacknowledged blessing, love noticed and unnoticed, blessings overt and covert. Incidences and coincidences and God-incidences too complex for us to sort through and untangle. We are caught – in the web. God behind us, God in us, God before us.
Surrounded and enveloped by God’s care, those blessings obvious to us now and those blessings only to be known about in the future and those blessings perhaps never to be known by us.
God at work in us and in those around us and in those we love and despair of. God’s love touching us, our ground, our lives through His humanity and love incarnated in Jesus.
We are surrounded in our space and time by roots, by branches, by leaves, by this living and growing 360 degree, multi dimensional, 24/7, God who loves. We are not tree hugging, but we are God- hugged.
And so while we are still indifferent, ignorant, hostile, unblissfully unaware, God loves us and in our hands we hold the bread and wine which expresses, encapsulates and enfleshes that Jesus love.
So why us? Why are we invited to this banquet under this umbrella of God’s love? Because we deserve it, merit it, lead good lives and have good theology? No, because God loves because he loves because he loves….
And so together as one body within God’s enveloping, connected with the worldwide family, we eat bread.
And so together as one body within God’s enveloping, connected with the worldwide family, we drink wine.
And so we have communed with God in this banquet but we do not now take our leave of Him. These roots and branches encircle and will not let us go even though we depart from this holy ground. He goes before us, marks our steps and our way.
And so we pray for all:
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.