13 March 2023 - CITW
12 March 2023 A Candle in the Window Peter Millar
Lord Jesus, as the shadows long are stealing
across your path, we turn and see you kneeling
with towel in hand, the servant way revealing
all for our healing.
Yet still you come, on God’s low road persisting,
from force and power so quietly desisting,
your every act upon love’s way insisting.
Quell our resisting!
Part of a beautiful hymn, often song during Lent, written by my late friend Leith Fisher.
Never again will we stand
on the threshold of a new age.
We that are here now are touched
in some mysterious way
with the ability to change
and make the future.
Those who wake to the wonder
of this tragic moment,
who wake to the possibilities
of this charged conjunction,
are the chosen ones who have chosen
to act, to free the future, to open it up,
to consign prejudices to the past,
to open up the magic casement
of the human spirit
onto a more shining world.
Words from the great poet Ben Okri
Pray not for Arab or Jew,
for Palestinian or Israeli.
But pray rather for ourselves,
that we might not divide them in our prayers.
But keep them both together in our hearts. Source unknown
When the darkness seems overwhelming, light dawns.
Into the silence of our worst fears, God speaks a living word. Source unknown
Words for our time from the 9th century:
Johannes Scotus Eriugena (c.815 - c.877), was an Irish theologian and Celtic philosopher. Perhaps the greatest teacher the Celtic branch of the church ever produced. Eriugena taught that Christ moves among us in ‘two shoes’ as it were, one shoe being that of creation, the other that of the scripture, and stressed the need to be as alert and attentive to Christ moving amongst us in creation as we are to the voice of God in the Scriptures.
In his homilies on the prologue to St. John’s Gospel, Eriugena tells us that God is in all things, the essence of life, God has not created everything out of nothing, but out of his own essence. The world, therefore, Eriugena regarded as a theophany, a visible manifestation of God, even what seems to be without vital movement, like the great rocks of the earth around us, has within it the light of God. To know the Creator, we need only to look at things he has created. The way to learn about God, Eriugena believed, is through the letters of Scripture and through the species of creation. ‘He urges us to listen to these expressions of God and to ‘conceive of their meaning in our souls’.
From J. Phillip Newell - Listening to the Heartbeat of God
In 1940, Jews, political refugees, and others no longer welcome in the part of France occupied by the Germans, came streaming into the region in an attempt to reach safety in neutral Switzerland. Not everyone received them kindly. A cabinet minister appealed to the ‘justified egoism’ of the Swiss people to take measure against the stream of refugees. Among Swiss students, however, were those who felt that something else was demanded of them. One of them took it upon himself to make a journey against the current.
That Swiss student was Roger Schultz who years later became Brother Roger, Prior of the Taize Community, and a wise and prophetic voice for millions. Let us take encouragement from the compassion-filled life of Brother Roger as we reflect on the wider implications of the gospel in today’s divided world.
Words from Rex Brico’s book – Brother Roger and his Community
(If you would like to know more about the Taize Community you will find information on the Internet and on YouTube. The singing from the monks of Taize is very special.)
God you come to us unexpectedly
in the hands and voice of a stranger
and in the everyday details of our lives.
Give us courage to keep working for justice
and the grace to give ourselves totally,
so that even in small things
our lives will make a difference.