Thursday, 7 May 2009

Eagles and Bears Proclaim the Wonder.....

Today is my birthday! And so after a good meeting this afternoon with the Asbury Circuit leadership team about working in the circuit in the Autumn, I decided to head home to be with Annie and Luke. We are going to go out for a walk with Nellie our dog and then we are having a special birthday tea - with my favourite Nut Roast with all the trimings and Apple Crumble and Vegan Ice Cream!

We had a great Birthday breakie too and I got some lovely pressies. Luke has compiled a little prayer book for me by searching for prayers from other faith traditions on the internet and putting them in a special little brochure with a lovely picture on the front. Here's one that I particularly liked from African Traditions....

O Lord, O God, creator Of Our land, our earth, the trees, the animals and humans, all is for your honor The drums beat it out, and people sing about it, and they dance with noisy joy that you are the Lord. You also have pulled the other continents out of the sea. What a wonderful world you have made out of the wet mud, and what beautiful men and women! We thank you for the beauty of this earth. The grace of your creation is like a cool day between rainy seasons. We drink in your creation with our eyes. We listen to the birds' jubilee with our ears. How strong and good and sure your earth smells, and everything that grows there.

Annie has painted me an amazing picture (above) based on a reflection I wrote whilst on an 8 Day silent retreat in North Wales at St Buenos Ignatian Spirituality Centre in May 2006. The grounds of the retreat house includes a small chapel on the top of a tree covered mound. The following reflection was inspired by what I found when I explored the chapel ....

I sit in this chapel facing not the altar
But the open door.
I look out to the sanctuary of creation:
Lush, green growth bathed in sunlight.
Behind me a white crucifix tells
Of an institution’s bland presentation
Of the awesome story,
Whilst around me on the walls
Is the same story told in vibrant colour
And pulling into this space of cold white austerity
The beauty and power of the insights gained
Through looking closely at nature;
But not the forensic stare of modern science
But the creative and imaginative watch
Of our medieval brothers and sisters
Who found the story of God’s love
With the aid of the companions he gave us to share this earth.
And so peacocks and panthers,
Eagles and bears proclaim the wonder
Of God’s redeeming love
And mulberry and cherry trees,
Lilies and reeds join in the song
And a goldfinch whose neck our ancestors imagined
Was forever stained with blood when,
flying down to Christ on the cross,
it plucked a thorn from his bleeding brow.
Our winged friend tells also in the glory of
Her yellow golden flight
The hope of resurrection.
If only it was her
Perched above the altar
I would turn and kneel
In adoration.

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