This morning amongst other things we shared in these home grown words and thoughts…
An Emerging Creed.
We are people who……
Have found Jesus to be beyond compare.
Invite all to join us without insisting they become like us.
Find more reality in searching and questioning than in certainty and absolutes.
Realise that how we treat others is the greatest test and expression of what we believe.
Firmly believe in the equality of men and women, that no-one is greater than another and that all people bear God’s image.
Recognise that following Jesus is costly and we need to support each other in the work we feel called to do: being peacemakers, striving for justice, befriending the lonely, healing the sick, serving the hungry and destitute, visiting the sick and the elderly, inspiring children and young people, caring for God’s creation……………….
In 2001 a singer-song-writer performed a new song on Songs of Praise. It reflected his yearning for faith – the faith he admired in Christians he knew. He wanted an assurance of God’s reality and his song was called ‘Waiting for the word’:
I could follow you, I could be so true, I’m just waiting for the word.
I could join the flock, I could be a rock, I’m just waiting for the word.
Let me know you’re here, call me loud and clear
For as yet Ii have not heard.
I could shine a light, I could fight the fight
I’m just waiting for the word.
On Friday he died. He was Peter Skellern, and as I heard the announcement of his death I found myself moved to think that at last he now knew… But what I hadn’t known until hearing the following sentence on the news bulletin, was that just months before his death, he was ordained a priest. It seems he had heard the word – his call loud and clear -in the end.
The story raises so many questions – some of which we then discussed – not least returning to the words of Grayden’s creed where it speaks of finding more reality in searching and questioning than in certainty and absolutes. Could it be that the search was the reality, was the faith in itself?
Steve had written a liturgy first thing this morning (as one does) for sharing bread and wine. It reflects our reading of Philip Yancey’s ‘Vanishing Grace’ and an image from David Attenborough’s ‘Planet Earth’:
Pilgrims, Artists, Activists
We journey in hope. We have set our sights – Christ our morning star. And we have Christ as our companion and guide along the Way.
Christ before us; Christ ahead of us; Christ – in this Bread – beside us.
And yet like hatchling turtles, we are bedazzled by the artificial lights of land and we are gone astray. Father be our compass; Christ realign us; Spirit guide us step by step.
We pilgrimage together and we give thanks for all those who have tended our metaphorical blisters, trodden this path before us, shown us the Way. And so we celebrate with this wine – whilst befuddled and seeing in a mirror darkly – we are in good company.
Send us out co-missioned to build bridges, to make known the interconnected worlds of matter and spirit. Help us to be inclusive Kingdom builders, pioneer settlers, proclaiming the Year of Jubilee, the year of restoration, where justice and mercy shall meet, and all God’s creatures shall cry out, “Come now Lord Jesus!”
Good to meet as ever and discussion over coffee in Cool River was diverse and challenging and fun!! Thanks all!