Sunday, 21 November 2010


Reflections on a church Sermon and Nehemiah

How do groups of people find belonging? What motivates and drives them to follow a particular action, thought, philosophy, religion or idea? What then happens when they get dislocated, lost or separated from their homes or lives?

My continuing 'sabbatical' from church life is hard as I haven't found another group of people with whom sharing, fellowship, identity and a sense of belonging is strong enough to draw me into their presence. The group of people that is 'church' generates a very strong place of belonging.

Establishing a spiritual community: in church, Truth lies the Bible. Truth here lies in an external paternal God - an external 'being' beyond people. God always seems to be sensed as outside the human body, outside the soul and this could also equate to how nature is viewed and related to. It is an external entity that may have no connection with our lives and who we are. The gap has be bridged in a spiritual sense. Worship in church seems to send praise outward- an external projection of desire, love, intention and conviction. What I am getting at in a rather unsuccessful way is my trying to reconcile a perceived outward direction of worship with my inward/ self-existing within God sort of belief. Something doesn't sit comfortably with me and I can't explain it neatly here.

Fundamental Truth in God would probably be the same as a fundamental Truth in Nature from a eco-theologoical view. There is no separation between the two. Panentheism.

Remember your ancient roots. The roots of Christian worship would have been the original sharing of the bread and wine. Honouring ancesters and their way of doing things. What past foundations do you use as a basis for your life? What identities do you base your faith upon? What is the story in which you find yourself?

"We are all sinners". Must read Original Blessing again - the concept of original sin sits uncomfortably with me. It brings forth a good/bad duality that seems to enhance my feelings of unworthiness, self-annihilation and fragility in the face of perceived superiority/strength. We need redemption from the sin of Original Sin!

Feast of tabernacles - living in tents for a week. A symbol of transition, temporality, the mortal, journeying, using resources wisely, low consumption etc. Very pagan and green. Images of shelters made from branches in woodland came to mind and my 'pilgrimages' I make to Herefordshire to camp out in the wild and find a place of renewal and belonging.w