|Pen and Ink Reflections||
One of the puzzles Christians have sometimes set themselves is to work out what light is being referred to in the first few verses of the Bible. For, apart from modern light forms, we are so used to thinking of light from the sun and moon, which, in the Genesis account, are only created later. Various possibilities have therefore been suggested by the great theologians. Some (such as Ephrem of Syria) have thus suggested the light was a pillar of fire, or (like Basil of Caesarea) that the essence of the sun without its actual substance, or even that the light came for the angels (in the case of Augustine of Hippo). However, in so far as we might respond, I think I would go with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of ‘the uncreated light’ of God in Godself. For, when we come to the first chapter of Genesis. we are speaking here of divine mystery, depth, purpose and ultimate meaning, not literal or even limited symbolic explanation of Creation. Rather, like our second reading today (For Light by John O’Donohue), the nature of Genesis chapter 1 is poetic and prayerful, seeking to lead us into sacredness. For above all, such texts are designed to renew our sense of wonder and participation in divine creation and our role as priests of God’s Creation…
WWJD - in the climate emergency?
WWJD – What Would Jesus Do – in the climate emergency? In the face of the increasing climate crisis, highlighted by the latest IPCC report and weather events across the world, how are we to react? As people of faith, what might guide us in our responses, as individuals and as a community together? This is the challenge which, with Gerard and Vivien, I ask us all to consider today. For, during this Season of Creation, we have rightly given expression, in several different ways, to our wonder at God’s world of which we are a part. We have joined with others elsewhere and received the gifts of Ecopella and other artists. We commit ourselves to continuing to grow more deeply in the soil of God’s love in Creation and to share more deeply in that grace and beauty. What however will we now do to honour that same Spirit of Christ?...
how shall we grow?
Welcome everyone to the first Formation Intensive for 2017 - my first Intensive as it is for some of you. And this is the first intensive, at any rate for some time, that has a theme. It is my intention always to provide a theme for when we meet together, mostly in order to enrich our informal conversations, and our times of worship as well as to lend coherence to the whole program.
So for the next couple of days we are gathered around the theme 'How Shall We Grow?' It is of course deliberately a theme that can be taken at many levels. How do I grow as an individual ? How might we grow together as a dispersed college community that is undergoing some significant change at the present time, with new students, movements of staff and changes on the physical site? How do we grow as church, in the many incarnations of church that we represent? How do we grow as a society, and a world, at a time of much challenge? How indeed do we grow?...
where will we go to, my lovelies?
by Jon Inkpin, for Land Sunday, 14 September 2014
I wonder if you know Peter Sartsedt’s song ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely?’ Written and released in 1969, it is about a fictional girl called Marie-Claire who becomes a member of the ‘jet set’, the fashionable celebrities of the late 1960s. Her life is full of show and excitement. Underneath however there is another reality. For her story is told from the point of view of a childhood friend who, after recounting all the amazing places Marie-Claire goes to, asks: ‘but where do you go to my lovely, when you’re asleep in your bed? Tell me the thoughts that surround you.’ Then, in the last verse of the song, the secret is revealed. Marie-Claire comes from poverty, ‘from the backstreets of Naples’ and her current life is both a welcome release and a desperate escape from that reality, full of continued scars and regret. For what we are, as people, is shaped by the realities of the places in which we are formed and raised. Only when we come to terms with those realities, their promise and their pain, are we truly set free. This is at the heart of today’s readings as we reflect upon God in the Land. For where do you go to, where do I go to, where do we go to, when we are asleep in our beds? What has our experience of land, of particular places, done for, and to, us? How does land and place shape our lives today?...
what is it about trees?
by Jon Inkpin, for Forest Sunday in the 'Season of Creation' 7 September 2014
What comes to your mind and heart when you hear the word forest or tree? What forest or trees do you recall? With which forest or tree do you most identify? Probably all us have a particular forest or tree which comes to mind: a special forest or tree which has, or has had, importance to us, perhaps going back to our childhood. Perhaps it is a single tree, in, or on, or beneath which we have played, or met a lover, or found refreshment. Perhaps it is a rainforest, or a stand of eucalypts in which we have spent some time. Perhaps it is a forest or a tree we have encountered in another place or time, on a holiday or a journey. Whatever it is, it will have shaped our life and awareness in some way...
sermons and reflections from Penny Jones & Josephine Inkpin, a married Anglican clergy couple serving with the Uniting Church in Sydney