Sunday, 20 February 2011

Worship

A passage on worship taken from "The Coming of the Cosmic Christ" by Matthew Fox that I rather liked:

The Cosmic Christ calls us to renewed worship: "Come to me all you who are burdened by lack of praise, lack of beauty, lack of vision in your lives. Look about you at the starry heavens and the deep, deep sea; at the amazing history that has birthed a home for you on this planet; at the surprise and joy of your existence. Gather together-you and your communities-in the context of this great, cosmic community to rejoice and give thanks. To heal and let go. To enter the dark and deep mysteries, to share the news, to break the bread of the universe and drink blood of the cosmos itself in all its divinity. Be brave. Let your worship make you strong and strong again. Never be bored again. Create yourselves, recreate your worlds, by the news you share and the visions you celebrate. Bring your sense of being microcosm in a vast macrocosm; bring your bodies; bring your play; bring you darkness and your pain. Gather and do not scatter. Learn not to take for granted and learn this together. Become a people. Worship together".


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Cathedral of Trees; Voices

On 5 February I drove up from Bedfordshire to Herefordshire and unexpectedly arrived at Croft Castle with about an hour of daylight left and so walked up onto Croft Ambrey. I wrote the following in my sketchpad and then didn't find the space to write it up until over a week later with a few embellishments:

The wind is warm, such a contrast to the bitterness of December's snow and ice, and strong too. Several trees had recently been uprooted in nearby Fishpool Valley. The path before me is sheltered from the roar of the windswept hillside and the waves within the tall conifers around me. This is a cathedral, a cathedral of trees. Tall, straight and skyward - towering above me like the pillars and walls of a large open place of worship. The path is the nave and beside me are the pews of rusting bracken and tangled dormant brambles. I come across a volume of space where the trees open outwards and paths cross. It holds my presence and awaits my prayers. Slowly I walk, mindful and aware of the imminent gathering darkness but also the loneliness of my presence. The path is worn by many, but only my pilgrimage is now present. I welcome my self to this place and ask to receive something. Ahead of me is the high altar of the hill top and here I lie in a sheltered place and look out over the valley below. The greyness of the clouds and the winter evening is punctuated buy the brightness of distant lights. I find peace in the wind here and return to the real me, with a voice and a song of worship - worship to the land and the spirit of the landscape that energises me.

I was drumming in a yurt with friends last night and thinking about voices: the voice of the wind in the trees above the yurt that I could watch swaying though the skylight; the voice of the logs burning in the fire; the voices of people sharing; the voices of our drums; the voice of the space itself; and the voice of silence.

Here on the hillside I realise that my pilgrimage is about finding a voice. Finding a voice with which I can communicate with spirit, a voice for me to stand up and be something or say something. I pray for a voice - a voice that can communicate and that can inspire. I think that a lot of my anxiety comes from a fear of what people will think of me and I feel that my spirituality must make me perfect -and it doesn't. Yet nature produces all - all is unique and has value. I feel I have no voice, no significant tale to tell, a voice that is becoming harder to find as I get older - and energy is drained away by work, and hours in front of a computer screen.

I pray for a voice. A voice that will reflect freedom. A voice that will call out into darkness like the owls I can hear in the trees. The landscape has a strong voice today. It has called me here today. The energy of the wind brings conversation, whispers, arguments and laughter. I pray I might be likewise inspired.

An Uphill Struggle

I am really struggling to find continued reality, realism and authenticity in the day to day outworking of my faith. Why should I bother I often ask myself? I find conflict stressful and yet all through my readings and exploration of my Christian journey I find inescapable conflict between ideas and expressions of belief and faith. My mind struggles to cope with it and I feel I am loosing touch with a sense of belonging. Amidst the life I now lead I feel more withdrawn into an isolated and dwindling sense of the spiritual. I miss church life hugely, but I don't know how to fit back in, I don't want to be in a strongly evangelical expression of the Christian faith. If I am to continue, I must find a way to break down this psychological wall that seems to be being built around me. Otherwise I just feel like giving up and letting life just happen around me. I don't want to do that and yet I can get overwhelmed by it all and the excitement I feel when I do think about things.

I am re-reading "The Cosmic Christ" by Matthew Fox. I love his writings and his viewpoint has helped me a great deal on my faith journey. I don't know if they are totally theologically sound, but they are a great source of inspiration.