At the bandstand this Sunday we were influenced by teaching of Richard Rohr at Greenbelt and on the web (www.huffingtonpost.com) to revisit the Franciscan emphasis on the Great Chain of Being. St Bonadventure had warned that if we ceasse to see the Divine in each part of the chain we would lose sight of God altogether. It was all too obvious that this has indeed been the case and for those of us from evangelical backgrounds it was something we just hadn’t come across but now felt instinctively drrawn to from our ThirsSpace experience. If we had been in a church building we would have had to import visual aids for each part of the chain. As it was, meeting outdoors, we were surrounded by everything we were considering!
We read verses from Psalm 104 from the Message – what a great biblical support for this theology and then set out from the bandstand individually to look with fresh eyes at each part of the chain, to see or even greet it as our brother or sister in creation (in true St Francis style!), to give thanks for it and bless it and pray for this to be honooured once again…
We returned to pray for those close to us who need to know and receive God’s healing and hope now and for world needs, before reading the inspiraational verses from Colossians 1:15-20 which underpinned this holistic gospel and led us into sharing bread and wine, using these words:
We embrace the healing of all creation through Jesus’ life amongst us and death as one of us
the body of Christ broken for all
the blood of Christ poured out for all
It cannot be over-emphasised how significant it has become to us to worship outdoors each week. The changing weather, seasons, trees… all enrich our worship and make our faith richer, bigger…