This morning we started with 3 words denoting our previous week (akin to Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 tradition). Than it was a matter of leaving behind the week finished and stepping out of our thoughts of the week ahead by turning our attention to God’s love and our thankfulness and worship of him. We used Psalm 100 from The Message and then did some slow walking turning over these words in our minds and making them into our prayer:
Rolled into a sphere
Packaged in sunshine
Gift-wrapped in love
Given to us
We ended up at the beech tree. There we named those needing our prayers – both those known to us and those far away caught up in the suffering of natural disaster and human corruption. With each naming we kicked into the middle of our circle a pile of leaves representing our prayers, until the pile was high!
And then, with leaves falling around us we listened to Steve’s words again:
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 in those we 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.
And then – what else? – a leaf fight to finish. Not a bad way to start a new week afresh!