|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Shortly before we were ordained in 1986, Jo and I were privileged to attend the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh. Its title – ‘In Search of a Larger Christ” – and the impact of some of the speakers has stayed with me for a lifetime of ministry. The speakers were global – African, Latin-American, and for me most notable the great Asian theologian Kosuke Koyama. In impeccable English, Kosuke Koyama explained that it was impossible to understand the character and work of Christ until you had attempted to translate that into a language other than your birth language. His point was that our ideas about Christ are shaped by the culture and context in which we first encounter Christ. Until we stretch ourselves to translate those ideas into a different culture, our idea of Christ will always be too small. Let me tell you, our idea of Christ is way too small – and that was very clear to me in preparing this sermon today for Cosmos Sunday.
Today I want to introduce you to one of the most notable mystics and teachers of my Christian tradition, Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard lived in the twelfth century in Germany and for many years her work was forgotten, returning to prominence only in the late twentieth century. She was not only a woman of prayer and vision, but also a composer, artist, theologian and herbalist,whose approaches to cosmology, medicine and music have many resonances in our own day. She is rightly regarded as one of Germany's first scientists and doctors and her 2000 herbal remedies are still being studied today. She has also left us 77 unique musical compositions that reveal her as the first female composer of note and a remarkable collection of art works...
sermons and reflections from Penny Jones & Jo Inkpin,