|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Jesus asks his disciples ‘Have you understood all this?’ and they answer 'Yes.” And I find myself saying, ‘really?!’ I rather think that in fact the disciples had the somewhat glazed expression that I had this week, when the NBN technician was trying to help me factory re-set my modem password! My 'yes’ really meant, actually I haven’t the faintest idea what you are talking about, but I trust you to work it out anyway”...
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...
Epiphany 6 Year A 16 February 2014 by The Revd Dr Jonathan Inkpin
One of my favourite images of reconciliation is that of Uncle Bob Randall, the multi-talented Yankunytjatjara elder from central Australia. ‘Spirituality’, he wrote in his autobiography ‘Songman’:
‘Spirituality is the ultimate answer to reconciliation in Australia and everywhere else in the world. Loving ourselves, our families, our neighbours, our countrymen and every other living thing is the reason we are here on earth. If we follow the ripple in the pond when a stone hits the water, we can easily see that the entire pond is affected by that one little stone. If the stone represents love, and it drops somewhere in our universe, that love will send its ripple through the entire universe. All the peoples, birds, animals, insects, plants, trees and rocks will in some way be affected by it. It is the same with anger and hate. We must choose which ripples we wish to send into the universe.’
- I really love that image. I used it often in my peace and reconciliation work for the National Council of Churches (in Australia): partly for its intrinsic beauty and wisdom; partly as it chimed in with my own approach to peace making and reconciliation; and, not least, because it is a wonderful Australian expression of the spirit of Jesus in what we call ‘the Sermon on the Mount’, another reading from which we hear in our worship this Sunday...