Thursday, March 21, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Psalm 7: Justice
Psalm 7 is riddled with a sense of justice - that God does and will make things right, but David also exhibits the sense that if he has done something wrong then he shouldn’t get away with it.
“God, if I’ve done what they say - betrayed my friends, ripped off my enemies - if my hands are really that dirty, let them get me, walk all over me, leave me flat on my face in the dirt.” -Psalm 7:3-5 (MSG)
It’s a limited understanding of justice but that is still, clearly, David’s sense of right playing out. It plays out later in the Psalm as well when he points out that those who commit evil meet a poor fate in the end.
I don’t disagree with David, I believe in all things being made right and I believe in a God who is acting towards that but I believe the justice that David understands is limited in how it plays out (in this Psalm) - those who do good will be rewarded and those who do bad will be punished. Jesus turns that notion on its head and shows us that God is making all things right, but grace, mercy and forgiveness are the key to it. Jesus’ life calls us beyond simplistic notions of justice.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” - Soren Kierkegaard
For a great discussion of the above quote see here.
Note: I took this photo at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Old Jerusalem. It is the candle box beside the place where it is believed Jesus was crucified. As I said a silent prayer there, I placed my candle amongst those of the other pilgrims.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Thursday, December 27, 2012
This morning my girl decided to play ‘Communion.’ It’s the first time she has done it. She asked to use some of my altar items and went about setting up a simple altar to start with so she could give communion to her monkey and then she set up a more elaborate altar to give communion to many of her other toys.
It was great to see the doll I got her in India and the doll I got her in the Armenian Quarter of Old Jerusalem delivering it together while her dolls from Kenya and Bolivia also participated. My stole from Bethlehem played a central role as did a couple of the small olive wood crosses I got there. In the background she put on an album of Gregorian Chant.
The bible was open in front of the altar and off to the side was the Anglican prayer book and a rosary. She, of course, didn’t give any of it a second thought but from my perspective it was a wonderfully ecumenical and cross cultural (…and inter-species… new heavens and new earth?) expression of Holy Communion with no prompting from me.
Monday, November 26, 2012
A few of the photos I got at the St George Orthodox Monastery after a walk through the Wadi Qelt in the desert of the eastern side of the West Bank. I got lots of photos. Most of these are from the main sanctuary, including the skulls of the monks killed by the Persians in 614 AD. Also pictured is one of the old bells. I found the walk through the desert to be a very deep experience and the monastery reminded my of my mortality and the freedom of my insignificance.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
this is a slight variation on the icon I just purchased in Bethlehem. I have been after a good Trinitarian one for a while but wanted something different from Rublev’s Trinity.
This is so rich in symbolism. Rublev’s Trinity offers a nice symbolism of the inviting and communal nature of the Trinity whereas this one conveys their distinction very clearly, but without betraying their unity. In my view it projects a level of holiness and divinity that Rublev’s doesn’t. That’s probably because Rublev’s primary depiction is of the three angels that visited Abraham, and is interpreted as the Trinity whereas this one is distinctly about the Godhead and the throne of heaven.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
A monk is painting an icon
I love the sense of contemplation in this image. Worship is inherent in the act of painting the icon
Thursday, August 2, 2012
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
- Romans 8:31
Sunday, July 29, 2012
There is much of God to be discovered if we slow down, look, smell and listen. Be still. Find the silence that is so full of the sound of God.
The western media needs to stop lending tacit PR support to the rebels. Clearly the Christian community is taking a hiding at the hands of those being supported by outside countries who want to topple Assad and should those groups gain power, the picture will be even bleaker for the 10% who declare themselves as Christian.