Online Worship Archive

Welcome to the online service of worship for The Seventh Sunday After Trinity 2020

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MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH

EDINBURGH

Online Worship Material Available 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 26 July 2020

 

Seventh Sunday after Trinity 

 

A kind of tune

A kind of tune, a music everywhere
And nowhere. Love’s long lovely undersong,
A trace in time, a grace-note in the air,
Borne to us from the place where we belong
On every passing breeze and in the breath
Of every creature. All things hear and fear,
For faintly, through our fall, we too may hear
The strong song of the Son that undoes death.

And one day we will hear it unimpaired:
The joy of all the sorrowful, the song
Of all the saints who cry ‘how long’,
The hidden hope of all who have despaired.
He sang it to his mother in the womb
And now it echoes from his empty tomb.


Malcolm Guite From After Prayer: a response to George Herbert
Printed with permission After Prayer:
New sonnets and other poems, Canterbury Press

                                                                                                                  

                                   .

www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

 AS A DIVERSE PEOPLE, THE CHURCH GATHERS TO WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD

 

Welcome Revd Helen Alexander

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church and welcome to all who are joining in this worship online for the 7th Sunday after Trinity.

One of the unhappy effects of the coronavirus has been the absence of choral singing, except when voices have been blended together electronically. At Mayfield Salisbury we’ve been fortunate in that over past weeks the organist has been able to combine one or more of the chamber singers with the piano to enable you to listen or sing with them during our services. Today they are joined by members of the full choir, reminding us that they’re still there, and ready to lead the congregation in hymn singing in church whenever this is possible again. We thank them all today and look forward to seeing as well as singing with them live sometime in the future.

I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship.

Scripture Sentences

O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things….
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let us pray

Lord of the song and the dance and the quiet murmur of the human heart hear our glad thanksgiving for the birth of a new morning, as we join with the glory of all nature in praise of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Father of all whose blessed Son Jesus Christ taught his followers to cry ‘Abba, Father’ , as a loving parent welcomes a beloved child hear now our joys and sorrows; our longing and our hope; bless, comfort and restore us, and assure us of the constancy of your everlasting grace, for your love’s sake.

Christ our brother whose prayer for humankind is heard forever in the community of heaven, and who assured your followers that the least is the greatest in the kingdom of God’s grace, hear us whatever our status on earth and assure us all of the peace that passes understanding.

Holy Spirit of mercy, truth and love, by whose sweet influence the message of forgiveness and assurance of divine grace ever streams from the blessed Trinity of love, help us to live in the power of that love today and every day, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, increase and multiply your mercy upon us that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Reading Psalm 105: 1 – 11, 45 NRSV    Walter Thomson

Psalm 105

God’s Faithfulness to Israel

O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
    make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgements he has uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God;
    his judgements are in all the earth.
He is mindful of his covenant for ever,
    of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
the covenant that he made with Abraham,
    his sworn promise to Isaac,
10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as your portion for an inheritance.’

45 that they might keep his statutes
    and observe his laws.
    Praise the Lord!

 

HYMN 59   O come, and let us to the Lord 

Oh, come, and let us to the Lord
in songs our voices raise,
with joyful noise let us the Rock
of our salvation praise.

Let us before his presence come
with praise and thankful voice;
let us sing psalms to him with grace,
and make a joyful noise:

The Lords a great God, and great King,
above all gods he is.
Depths of the earth are in his hand,
the strength of hills is his.

To him the spacious sea belongs,
for he the same did make;
the dry land also from his hands
its form at first did take.

Oh, come, and let us worship him,
let us bow down withal,
and on our knees before the Lord
our Maker let us fall.

Verse 1: The Irish Presbyterian Psalter
Verses 2 - 5: The Scottish Psalter,1929
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by the Mayfield Salisbury Choir

 

 

WE LISTEN FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD

 

Reading  Genesis 29: 15 - 28   NRSVA    Elizabeth Bomberg

Introduction to Genesis 29: 15 – 28

After being tricked into giving his blessing to his younger son Jacob rather than to Esau, Isaac sends Jacob back to his home country to find a wife. At the end of his journey Jacob meets his cousin Rachel at the well at Haran and is welcomed into the house of Laban, his mother Rebekah’s brother.

Jacob Marries Laban’s Daughters

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?’ 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’ 19 Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.’ 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.’ 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25 When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, ‘What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?’ 26 Laban said, ‘This is not done in our country—giving the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me for another seven years.’ 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.

 

Reading Romans 8: 26 - 39   NRSVA    Hillary Leslie

 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Love in Christ Jesus

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,

‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
    we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Reading St Matthew 13: 31 - 33, 44 - 52  NRSVA    Hillary Leslie

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

31 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

The Parable of the Yeast

33 He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

Reflection Revd Helen Alexander

On Friday this week, 31st July some branches of the Christian church will remember St Ignatius of Loyola the 16th Century founder of the Society of Jesus, normally known as the Jesuit Order.

Loyola is famous for his Spiritual Exercises, through which he encouraged people imaginatively to enter into the stories in the Gospels as if they themselves were present, in the hope of being directly and personally addressed. In an updated form, the Spiritual Exercises have formed a basis for interdenominational Bible study that many find helpful today.

The Exercises are supposed to take time. They can’t be rushed.

We might assume that Jesus of Nazareth knew the value of taking time, moving as he did from place to place mostly at walking pace, a practice many of us may have enjoyed all the more recently during restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. Walking allows time to appreciate ordinariness. It enabled Jesus to draw lessons from people, objects and activities of everyday; and gave time for his words to fall on the ears of his listeners until the penny dropped, or the idea shocked, or they kept on discussing it because he might have meant this – or perhaps that – or maybe all of these - or something else entirely.

So, taking a leaf from St Ignatius’ book, I invite you imaginatively to join a day in the life of Jesus and his companions as they walk along a road in Palestine. Stop for a moment to absorb the scene: the slope of the hills dotted with sheep, the spread of the sky, the dry ground, stony fields, wild flowers, scrubby bushes and trees. See the birds, perching on the branches, or in the air riding the thermals, and hear them call. Take account of your companions, some already confirmed disciples of their leader; others, including some women, driven by curiosity, boredom, or a growing sense of devotion. Place yourself somewhere in that motley band, and prepare to listen.

Jesus is pointing to a bush at the side of the road. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the tiny seed that produced that mustard tree. See what a haven it provides for the birds!’

Along with everyone else, you peer at the bush. When you stop to think, it does seem a bit of a miracle. Even with two thousand years of scientific botany behind you, you do still marvel at the wonder of growth be it in wheat and flowers, or bushes and trees.

Your thoughts turn to the miracle of transformation that can happen in a human life. You’ve seen it in others, even if it hasn’t quite reached fruition in yours. In their own good time (and growth of a bush or tree takes time after all) you’ve seen people change through happy influence or even sometimes through hardship and difficulty, becoming larger of heart, more hospitable in spirit, like a growing tree extending its branches to the birds. The thought occurs to you that the same might sometimes be said of communities, even nations. At their best, they reach beyond their immediate concerns, significant though these may be, to help a wider world. You think of communities of various sorts that you know and even your own nation, and the part they play in this – or don’t, as the case may be.

You move on with the company, but as you pass the bush you wonder why Jesus chose the mustard when there are various different trees growing nearby. Might the healing properties of mustard be significant?

You all pass a man digging in a field. He straightens up, wipes his brow and waves. Despite the heat he’s cheerful, even enthusiastic. Someone laughs ‘You’d think he’d found a treasure trove!’ The Rabbi hears this. ‘The kingdom of heaven’s like that. It’s joy! It’s worth selling everything for.’

On the road you strike up a conversation about joy with someone who falls in beside you. You agree that it’s more than happiness, which tends to come and go; that joy can well up and spill over, but there can also be something secret about it, hidden deep within the heart, like treasure in a field. Joy is an elusive gift, you agree, but nonetheless, you’d both give a great deal for more of it. Your friend observes that finding the treasure was luck for the man in the story, which leads you both to talk about serendipity, that strange conjunction of chance and opportunity which may, you agree, lead to untold discoveries for anyone attuned to possibilities for inspiration.

Still with Jesus and his disciples, you reach the winding streets and the bustling bazaars of Jerusalem. There’s an eagle-eyed merchant pouring over jewels. He’s rich enough to buy several but his eye keeps returning to one faultless pearl. He’s been hoping for a find like this for years and come hell or high water, he’ll have it even if he has to sell his other jewels, home, possessions – everything.

Jesus speaks quietly. ‘The Kingdom of heaven’s like that.’ You think about this. Talk of a perfect pearl makes you uneasy, wondering if the kingdom of heaven is nothing but fruitless idealisation really. But then: might the important point be the open, yet determined search for ultimate meaning and value and the refusal to settle for less, even though you know that the absolute fulfilment you seek is unlikely ever to be realised this side of eternity?

You join everyone for supper in a hired room. There are a lot of you there, far more than Jesus and his closest disciples. Someone has managed to get an enormous loaf of bread. You’ve never seen one so hugely over-the-top. You watch as Jesus raises the bread and blesses it. ‘And blessed be the woman who baked this for us all!’ he says. And pauses: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the leaven in this.’

Over dinner you discuss this with the people beside you. Someone says ‘I think he’s saying that the essential hiddenness of the kingdom is important, like yeast in the dough, and the buried treasure he talked about today.’ ‘Yes, but it must be acted upon’ says another. ‘The dough needed the cook to stretch and fold it over; just as the man had to dig for the treasure.’ Another of your companions says ‘it makes me think of this gathering around Jesus that’s getting bigger and bigger; that it’s not about individuals as much as the growth of the company itself.’ A scholarly looking person observes that yeast can represent corruption and that perhaps he meant that we might need to re-think what’s good and what’s bad – or that people who are considered disreputable might just have something useful, even essential to add to any company, including this one.

You see that Jesus has noticed the intense discussion going on at your end of the table. ‘Ask him’ someone says. ‘Sometimes he explains things.’

So you say ‘tell us please: what is the Kingdom of Heaven exactly?’

And he smiles and says. ‘It’s getting late. Sleep on it. And join us again tomorrow.’

 

 

RESPONSE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN

 

 

Voluntary Largo from Cello sonata No. 4 in Bb, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)  

James Pearson, cello, Kate Pearson, chamber organ   

 

Thanksgiving and Intercession Revd Helen Alexander 

For tellers of tales and dreamers of dreams we give you thanks, O Lord. For proverbs and parables; lessons from every day and the wisdom of the ages; for story in art and the wonder and glory of music we offer our gratitude and praise.

We pray for all who add to our worship in poetry and song and with instrumental skill. As humankind cannot live by bread alone so we acknowledge our need of nourishment of soul through music and melody, painting and drama; and we remember all those in this land and beyond whose lives and work are dedicated to the arts and who may be suffering anxiety and hardship in these difficult times.

We pray for worshipping communities here and abroad: for all seeking to balance the need for safety with that of worship; and the guardianship of their members with the will to serve the wider community. We pray for church and mosque, synagogue and temple; simple, silent meeting places for quiet contemplation, mindfulness and prayer; great centres of faith throughout the world and their maintenance and preservation in these days.

We pray for places we may think of that are dear to us across the world: holy places that may have enriched our understanding; and land and seascapes; mountains, rivers; quiet havens of beauty and peace; or busy cities with great heritages of history and art.

We pray for people here there or anywhere who are forever in our hearts: friendships and connections we have enjoyed for years as well as these who have come into our lives recently and whom we would never now wish to leave us. We pray for all those to whom we are bound by birth, by duty, by choice, by happy circumstance; for people who trouble as well as delight us; for those who cause us pain as well as those we may have wronged; for people we know we might lose soon as well as those new lives we may rejoice over as they have come into the world.

We pray for those who are loveless, or who may not know or accept that they are appreciated and loved. We pray for people struggling with illness, and the agony of mental distress. We think of those who are alone, misused and betrayed and pray for their healing, their welfare and their good.

And we give thanks that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us and those whom we love eternally from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

 

HYMN 459 Crown him with many crowns

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o'er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing
who died and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
rich wounds yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
for thou hast died for me:
thy praise shall never, never fail
throughout eternity.

Matthew Bridges (1800 - 1894) and Godfrey Thring (1823 - 1903) 
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by the Mayfield Salisbury Choir

 

BENEDICTION XXXX

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you
And the blessing of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

AMEN Traditional Amen

  

  

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INTIMATIONS

 

GRAPEVINE MAGAZINE The deadline for the forthcoming Grapevine magazine is this Friday 31 July at 6.00pm. Submissions are very welcome and may be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.              William Mearns, Church Manager

VACANCY UPDATE Over the past few months the Nominating Committee has met several times courtesy of Zoom which on the whole has worked very well for us. As you may be aware the Commission of the General Assembly recently issued guidance to assist congregations and Nominating Committees during the Covid-19 pandemic. You will wish to know that in the light of this and the interest expressed in the vacancy to date we have set a deadline of 10 August for applications which is now advertised on the Church of Scotland website.

The Nominating Committee will have to rely on different methods for assessing candidates to those normally used but we are confident that we will be able to make progress. When we reach the point of a sole nominee preaching we will do our best to ensure that all those entitled to vote will be able to see and hear the nominee conduct the same act of worship and be able to participate in the vote. Depending on the Covid-19 restrictions applying at the time, this part of the process may take longer than usual and we will issue advice and guidance on the process when we reach that stage.

Meantime we ask you to keep us in your prayers.   Boyd McAdam. Convener

YOUTH UPDATE

Youth & Parent Surveys now available: Hillary has created surveys for the parents and youth looking over the 2019-20 youth programming term, including the virtual programming since March. These are very helpful to continually improve youth programming at MSPC, and to aid with the planning process for the upcoming term, so if you haven't gotten a copy and would like to take part, please get in touch with Hillary!

Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of July can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. New virtual youth consent forms must be sent to Hillary before attending a session. For log-in access to the Zoom sessions, or to get a copy of the consent forms, please contact Hillary!

NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS  Genesis 32: 22 – 31 and St Matthew 14: 13 – 21.

PASTORAL CARE The Revd Neil Gardner may be contacted with pastoral care enquiries on 0131 556 3515.

ONLINE OFFERING / DONATION The Church is very grateful to all those who give by standing order enabling us to maintain a large portion of our income through these difficult times. We now offer the ability to contribute to our work electronically through the ‘give.net’ facility which appears on the home page of the Church’s website. This provides the possibility of adding Gift Aid to donations. There is also a direct link to the new system which is: https://www.give.net/20311853

With best wishes, Hugh Somerville, Free Will Offerings Treasurer

Forthcoming Deadlines

Order of service for next week: Thursday at 6.00pm.

Next Grapevine Friday 31 July at 6.00pm.

Please send submissions to the Church Manager, William Mearns.

Phone: 0780 801 1234 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Books for the Journey

My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul by Mark Oakley.

Luminaries: Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian Way by Rowan Williams.

 

Copyright Notices

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church holds a CCLI Streaming License: #88916.

 

  

Social Media

www.facebook.com/MayfieldSalisbury

www.youtube.com/user/MayfieldSalisbChurch

www.flickr.com/photos/98063709@N06/

Youth Instagram: the.msyg

 www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

Scottish Charity Number SC000785

Five Minutes’ Peace

 Re-opening date: Wednesday 5th August
  

Come and experience  the beauty and peace to be found within our Sanctuary.

Since January 2019, Mayfield Salisbury Church have been providing a space for private meditation or prayer in the beautiful surroundings of  the Sanctuary of our church. We are delighted to announce that this facility, which had to close in March due to Covid-19 restrictions, will re-commence from Wednesday 5th August.

We will be open to the public – to people of all faiths and none – every Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00pm.

Strict social distancing protocols will be in operation and all visitors will be required to provide contact details (for the Scottish Government’s Test and Protect programme) and to wear a face covering.

 
 

Online Offering

Christian Aid Appeal

christian aid logo Large

 

We recently received the following urgent appeal from Christian Aid, which we very much hope you will consider supporting:

Last year, over 45 million people were forced from their homes by conflict and violence. Families who have suffered so much need your help now more than ever to face the deadly threat of coronavirus. Millions of lives are at stake.

Coronavirus is the latest threat to their safety. Families who have fled conflict and hunger are now living in crowded camps where social distancing is impossible. In these places there is limited access to medical care, clean water or enough food, making people extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. Here, the virus is likely to be even more deadly than it has been in the UK. Deaths are already mounting.

We’ve joined the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to raise urgent funds for communities living in extreme poverty and conflict in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Please help us protect refugees and vulnerable people in the world’s most fragile places today.

We’re already responding to the Covid-19 outbreak by delivering life-saving information and hygiene support, personal protective equipment and food packages to communities in need. Your donation can help us to:


• provide families with clean water, soap and information on keeping themselves safe
• give frontline medical and aid workers the equipment and supplies they need to care for the vulnerable and sick
• ensure families get enough food to prevent malnutrition, particularly amongst children


Help families who have lost everything as they face this deadly threat.


If you’d like to contribute, please visit the Christian Aid website at: www.christianaid.org.uk    Cash and cheques cannot currently be accepted, but you can make a donation by telephone on 020 7523 2269.


Thank you!


The Christian Aid Committee

 

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,
Edinburgh,
EH9 1TQ

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785

Quotations

  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.
    Origen

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.
    Wittgenstein

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
    Plotinus

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe