Online Worship Archive

Welcome to this online service of worship from Mayfield Salibury Parish Church.  The YouTube playlist may be found here or view below.


 

Second Sunday Before Lent
 Sunday 7 February 2021

 

Only in the act of worship and
praise can a person learn to
believe in the goodness and
greatness of God.   C.S. Lewis

 

Picture 2

Hans Memling, right panel of the tryptich Christ with Singing and Music-Making Angels, 1480s.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Welcome   Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth

 

Call to Worship and Prayers   Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth

Call to Worship

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Let us too worship and praise God today!

 

Prayer of Approach, Thanksgiving and Lord’s Prayer


Lord God, sun behind all suns,
Soul behind all souls,
In our love for our close family and friends,
In the day - to day rays of light in our lives in the dark days of winter and lockdown
As part of this community of your followers gathered online today,
Your presence is in us and around us,
And so we come to you today bringing our offerings of thanks and praise.
As the Psalmist said, ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord’.
We’ll try, Lord, not to make it a muffled sound of a mumble, a few casual words long memorised and repeated by rote,
We’ll try to bring praise that is fresh, energetic, heartfelt and meaningful,
We’ll try not to whisper but to shout your name in our hearts, to imagine we are broadcasting it out of our living rooms, and from our rooftops in glory, in awe and in wonder.
What are we that we deserve you? What are you that the minute concerns of our lives are your concerns too?
What are we that our focus is so often narrow and self-centred and tribal? What are you that in your embrace lies a desire to heal and transform all people of this your Creation across the world, no matter what defines them or what they have done?
Lord, when we have not met, but missed you, in our lives and relationships with one another,
When we have not received, but rejected you, when the needy, the marginalised and the neglected have called out to us,
When we have trampled over this world, your creation, squandering resources and polluting the earth for profit
Lord, forgive us,

sunshine

 

Hear now our plea for your grace and your mercy.
We return once more like the Prodigal,
To be re-shaped, re-moulded in your image.
We come here in your presence Lord in our need,
And bringing with us the needs of the world.
We come to you, as you came to us in Jesus,
As you know by experience what human life is like,
We come with our faith and with our doubts,
With our hopes and with our fears,
Our human talents and our brokenness and frailty,
We come as we are, because you invite us to come, as we are,
And you have promised never to turn us away.
We come to you with the words of our Lord and Saviour, your son Jesus Christ, on our lips, which we offer now together in prayer:

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who 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. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  

Collect for the Day
Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever.

 

All-Age Address  Hillary Leslie

Good morning everyone! How are we all doing? I hope that you are well and have been enjoying your weekend and are looking forward to a break from school this week.

Do any of you like to take walks? I do. I’m always looking for a new route near my flat, and I try to take a walk on my lunch break every day while I have been working from home. I also have one of those fancy watches that tracks how many steps you take in a day – but I must admit that in the wintertime it’s more challenging to reach my goal of walking 10,000 steps each day! It’s fun to set out on a walk, going for a journey and experiencing something new on each walking adventure.

Many of you and your families may have found yourselves taking a lot of walks over the last 10 months while cafes, shops and our schools and workplaces have been closed, too. I wonder where your favourite place to walk is in Edinburgh? I love going to the top of Blackford Hill and also walking from Morningside to the Royal Mile and up to the castle!

We have all heard that walking is good for our health. It makes our legs and hearts strong, and it lifts our spirits if we are feeling sad or discouraged. Right now, walking is one of the safe ways that some of us have been able to see a friend at a distance, too, and that is very helpful when we are feeling lonely or sad.

When you go for a walk, you are going on a journey. Our life can also be seen as a journey. We are each setting out on an adventure, experiencing new things every day, and encountering twists and turns and ups and downs.

In our Bible story today, we learn about the importance of ‘clothing ourselves in love.’ A different translation of the Bible calls it ‘walking in love.’ What do you think it means to walk in love? It could mean being kind to one another, helping each other, forgiving one another, and supporting one another in our faith as we journey, or walk, through life. It’s also giving thanks to God for all that we have been given, and praying, singing and reading the Bible as a way to honour God and learn more about God as we encounter life’s twists and turns.

At the moment we are continuing to spend time away from our church building and are worshipping from home; many of us are also unable to see our friends and family, even for a walk. Sometimes it might feel like we are walking through life alone. But we remember that we aren’t alone; God is with us every step of the journey. And even though we aren’t together in church for worship right now, we are reminded of a message from our children’s talk back in September: The church is made up of people, who are followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, who worship God, and share God’s love with friends and strangers. We remember that people are the most important part of any church family, whether we can go to the building or not on Sunday mornings.

So even though we aren’t sitting next to each other in a pew at church just now, we are all walking beside one another in our faith as we journey through our own lives. We can walk beside each other in love, supporting each other in our faith and our relationship with God. We are walking beside each other in love when we send letters, emails, texts - when we call or video chat someone – when we take the time to ask ‘How are you?’ and ‘How can I be supporting or praying for you?’ – when we share messages of hope and encouragement with each other for the difficult days, and when we encourage one another to pray and spend time with God.

This morning we are going to be singing a song called ‘Singing we gladly worship the Lord together,’ and as you join in, I want you to think about all of the friends you miss from church that you’d normally get to see and sing with on Sunday mornings. Remember them in your hearts and minds. Remember them when you go out for a walk with your family today. And above all else, remember that God’s presence is with you, and with your friends, too, as we all walk through life and learn how to walk in love. We are all together in mind, heart, spirit and song!

Let’s close our eyes and pray:

Dear God,
Even though we are apart,
Let us remember that we aren’t alone -
That you are with us,
And we can be with each other,
Offering support,
As we journey through life
And learn how to walk in faith and love. Amen.


 

HYMN 257  Singing, we gladly worship the Lord together

Refrain sung twice:

Singing, we gladly worship the Lord together.
Singing, we gladly worship the Lord.
Those who are travelling the road of life
sow seeds of peace and love.

Come, bringing hope into a world of fear,
a world which is burdened down with dread,
a world which is yearning for a greater love
but needs to be shown the true way.

Come, bringing joyfully in both your hands
some kindling to light the path of peace,
some hope that there is a more human world
where justice and truth will be born.

Whenever hatefulness and violence
are banished for ever from our hearts,
then will the world believe the day is near
when sadness and pain shall find their end.

Guatemalan traditional
English version by Christine Carson (b.1965) and John L. Bell (b.1949)
Words and Music: (c) Christine Carson and Wild Goose Resource Group, The Iona Community
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by Julie Morrice

 

 

  

WE LISTEN FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN SCRIPTURE

 

 

Reading  Psalm 95: 1 - 6
NRSVA
  
Tom Mole


 
 

Reflection    Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth

Worshipping Together

I’m part of a Special Commission appointed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to look at the future of our Presbyterian form of governance. Sounds dry as dust, I’m sure, what a dull start to a sermon you might be thinking! ‘Hold on there, I say’. For the last line of our draft report says this: ‘We need to rediscover, and live out again, the joy of the Gospel.’ Or put more simply and bluntly elsewhere, in the church, we do need to ‘cheer up’!

Our call to worship from Psalm 150 begins ‘praise God in his sanctuary, Praise God in his mighty heavens’ and ends with ‘Let everything that has breath praise the LORD’. Throughout the Psalm there is the clash of symbols, the sound of every kind of musical instrument imaginable, there is singing and dancing, it sounds like a party on the scale of VE day, or the turn of the millennium, an almighty joyous celebration, a sudden outburst of happiness and praise.

Our reading from Psalm 95 begins, ‘O come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise’. And Paul in Colossians: ‘with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God’

This is happy, this is exuberant, this celebrates our life together as a Christian community. In coming weeks, I do want us to explore further the point and purpose of our worship – what it gains us to gather together, in person or online as we are now: to simply be in each other’s presence, but also to pray together, to open the pages of the Bible together and to investigate what lies within.

What does it mean to do that? What does our reformed tradition and being part of the Church of Scotland lead us to believe about the purpose and form of worship, help us to think about the unity of the word of God with the sacraments of baptism and communion?

The tradition of reformed worship over the past five hundred years has often followed the pattern which are using today. We’re in the middle bit at the moment, of course, the sermon reflecting on the meaning of God’s Word for our lives right now.

What is a sermon meant to be? At its worst, it can be time lost that you’ll never get back, wriggling on a hard pew and thinking about lunch. Mark Twain wrote, ‘when the pastor prays, he closes his eyes, and when he preaches I close mine.’ Is it a dull interruption between the interesting parts of the service that we all get to take part in? Is it hopelessly lost now in our visual culture? Or can it somehow, at its best, be a partnership between preacher and congregation, a common journey, a joint investigation. My favourite description of what a preacher is meant to be doing in a sermon is to imagine that she or he is sitting alongside each one of you, that we have the bible passage open in front of us, and together, we are humbly trying to work out how God is speaking through it into our lives, humbly, recognising our own flaws and misunderstandings. Preaching and all worship, when it happens well, is shaping and forming us together, as people and as a Christian community. It draws us into the common stories and rituals that we share, forms our identities, and sends us out into our lives and communities with a new energy and perspective, to live life to its fullest in our faith.

rempaul

Apostle Paul, by Rembrandt c. 1633

Paul talks about that sense of re-fuelling, of growth and formation through worship, in our passage from Colossians. Notice that he does not simply mention worship in verse 16 in a vacuum, as acts to be carried out from obligation or expected habit. This is not just repeating the same old stuff as a tradition, going through the motions, when Paul says in verse 16:

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

Instead, look at the context set out elsewhere in the passage in which he writes these words about worship through the Word of God and through song. These are clearly acts for the growth of spirit-filled virtues and character traits which will enrich our own lives deeply and those of the whole of society, Christians or not. For the context of worship for Paul is in (verse 14), ‘clothing ourselves in love’, ‘which binds together everything in perfect harmony’ (verse 15), in thankfulness for the peace of Christ to be in our hearts as we are called to be one body. Verse 17 - doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

There is a far greater and higher purpose beyond our mere words or sounds to worship God, As in Psalm 95 – ‘let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation’. Just how joyful is our noise?

Two years ago in that world we knew before lockdown, I was in Harlem in New York City, and went to Sunday worship in a church where the congregation was mostly African American. In the singing, and also during the sermon, the regular worshippers moved, they swayed, danced, raised their hands, shouted out for joy. Let the church say AMEN: ‘AMEN!!’ The white people like me nearer the back clapped politely in time!

The ‘shout for joy’, the spontaneous outpouring is not an obvious part of worship in the mainstream European Protestant tradition. It’s too charismatic. We don’t do that movement so well here, we’re British, come on – we don’t do the instant outburst in joyous word or song unless it’s Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, or a move back to Tier 3. After the Enlightenment and the Reformation, the Protestant tradition promoted head knowledge, bible learning, Sunday school, finding your way into faith through reason, above heart knowledge, feeling your way into faith through the senses and the emotions, through the transcendence of divine beauty. And so somehow we feel that outward displays are not quite right here, they are unnatural, showy, should be unnecessary.

A couple of weeks back, it was Martin Luther King Day in the United States. At the start of his famous I Have a Dream Speech at the March on Washington in 1963, you can hear the Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson say to Dr King on the platform, ‘tell them about the dream, Martin’, and King put aside his notes and began spontaneously to say some of the most famous words of the 20th Century. And as he did so, Andrew Young who was also on the platform turned to his colleague and said ‘now we’re going to church’. That brilliant spontaneous outburst by King – now we’re going to church??? Wow.

We might not be good at doing ‘that sort of thing’ in church outwardly, the spontaneous physical or verbal outpouring of inspirational joy, but what God cares most about is not the fact of the outward display, but what is happening inwardly -the sounds of joyful noise and praise that are in our hearts, the metaphorical clanging of symbols and the blasting of trumpets, whether we’re moving round at great pace, being moved by the Spirit to shout or dance, or sitting down quietly, calmly, as the hymn says, ‘lost in wonder, love and praise’.

Whichever way, we offer our worship and praise, from the depths of our souls. Join me today as we do that together. Psalm 95:6 - O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Amen

 

 

RESPONSE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN

 

  

Choral Anthem    Cantata Domino   

Cantate Domino canticum novum; 
laus ejus in ecclesia sanctorum.
Laetetur Israël in eo qui fecit eum,
et filii Sion exsultent in rege suo.

[O sing unto the Lord a new song:
let the congregation of saints praise him. 
Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: a
nd let the children of Sion be joyful in their King.]

From Psalm 149       
Music: Guipeppi Pitoni (1657 to 1743)
Sung by the Mayfield Salisbury Chamber Group

 

 

 

Prayer for Others    Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth

Lord, you call us to live by faith,
not by sight.
You tell us to trust in things unseen,
in realities we cannot grasp.
We do our best,
but it’s not easy,
for we like to have everything cut and dried,
spelt out for us down to the finest detail.
We struggle to cope with uncertainties in relation to everyday matters under lockdown, and the repeating routine of life,
let alone our eternal destiny.

Yet we know deep down that that yours is the way,
in the peace, strength and comfort you bring in this life when we place our trust in you, and the promises you have made for the life beyond.
Help us, then, to leave all things in your hands,
trusting for tomorrow through what we know of you today.
Help us through these challenging days us to work for your kingdom.
We offer our worship and our praise, our words and thoughts, the music of our voices and our hearts, with joy, at what we have received from you, in good times and in bad, and for the way you can change our lives, our community and this world.

We thank you that whatever we may face,
whatever dangers may threaten us,
you are able to deliver us from evil.
That you are by our side,
nothing able to separate us from the wonder of your love. Help us, then, to trust you always,
to love you in our hearts
and to honour you each day in what we say and what we do, to the glory of your name.

Living God, we ask you to renew our strength, to build our trust in you and to let shine the hope that only you can bring, to be your instruments of transformation, and deliverance in this troubled world
We pray too for those near to home who face the future in our challenging times of COVID-19 with uncertainty or anxiety —
those who fear it,
who despair of it,
or who feel they have no future.

We pray for those who doubt their ability
to cope with what life may now bring —
those overwhelmed by pressures,
or silenced by isolation,
Those in pain, the dying and the bereaved

We pray for those who face trauma or loss in their lives —
what seemed secure swept from under them,
what they had hoped for denied them,
what they had trusted in proven false.
We pray for those faced with difficult decisions and choices—
circumstances beyond their control,
unexpected dangers,
awkward choices.


Living God,
reach out to all for whom the future now
seems uncertain or unwelcome,
and bring the assurance that even in the darkest moments, the greatest challenges,
the most worrying times,
you are there;
able to bring light out of darkness,
hope out of despair,
joy out of sorrow,
and good out of evil.

We bring to you particularly today Lord those who are close to us and you need your help right now, your healing or your peace, your comfort or your rest, in a moment of silence we bring them to you now in our thoughts and prayers.

Grant us the confidence to believe that there is nothing in heaven or earth, in life or death,
in the present or the future,
that is finally able to separate us and this world from your love.
In the name of Jesus, our friend, our saviour, Amen.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Closing Responses & Benediction  Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth

Each line sung by minister as cantor and then repeated by all - ‘call and response’.

Glory to God, glory to God, glory in the highest!
(All - response)
Glory to God, glory to God, glory in the highest!
(All - response)
To God be glory forever!
(All - response)
Alleluia! Amen!
(All - response)

Alleluia! Amen!
(All - response)

Alleluia! Amen!
(All - response)

Alleluia! Amen!
(All – response, including cantor)

Spoken Benediction
And now may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us all, and everyone whom we love, this day and forevermore. Amen.

 

 

HYMN 825   Amen

Amen! Amen! Amen.  

 

INTIMATIONS

 

CORNERSTONE BOOKSHOP    If you are looking for a book to help you on your inward journey, expand your knowledge of Christian history, doctrine or the Bible, then please support our local bookshop Cornerstone Books.

The physical store is closed during Level 4 restrictions, but purchases can be made at  www.bookshop.org - nominating Cornerstone for all your book buying needs.  More information at: www.cornerstonebooks.org.uk  

 

PASTORAL CARE   Remember we need you to inform us if someone is ill or due to go into hospital. Perhaps you would now like to have a pastoral visitor or receive a regular phone call?We would be delighted to hear from you and will respond to your request. Contact Kay on 07903 266 307.

 

Youth Group: Tonight, 7 Feb at 7pm, we will meet on Zoom for an optional game night of 'Among Us' for those in S2-S6. Please note that you will need to have the app downloaded on your phone before joining! For the Zoom log-in information, please contact Hillary.

 

ECO UPDATESPlease check our Eco Group page on the church website here: www.mayfieldsalisbury.org/eco

 

Newington Churches Together   Ecumenical discussion groups by Zoom - Lent 2021

This year’s NCT Lent groups will meet using Zoom. You can participate either on screen using a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, or with sound only, using a mainline phone.

Groups will meet weekly on Mon & Wed evenings for 5 weeks starting Mon 22nd Feb.

There will be a choice of discussion material available:

  • Not A Tame Lion’ – looking at Christianity through the works of CS Lewis. This was the material used by the groups in 2020, which were abruptly curtailed by the coronavirus lockdown; some were keen to complete the course this year.
  • One of the guides from the ‘Faith and Worship’ series produced by John Birch.

See www.faithandworship.com/shop.htm#lent 

Material from this series was well received by Advent 2020 groups in 2020.

If you would like to take part, please email or phone Ann Thanisch by Wed 17 Feb (Ash Wednesday), confirming your preference for Mon or Wed, and for discussion material (‘Not A Tame Lion’ or ‘Faith and Worship’)

If you have not taken part in these groups before, why not give them a try this year? Using Zoom means you don’t have to leave home, you can opt out at any time, & you don’t have to use internet. And typically participants find them very interesting & friendly!

Ann Thanisch,   Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel 0781 494 9468

CHRISTIAN AID - MARMALADE!    No, not an example of rhyming slang, but a request. Our annual marmalade sale, normally held at the beginning of the year, is always popular both within the congregation and beyond! We have already received enquiries about whether it will go ahead in 2021, but sadly we won’t be able to hold it at the usual time because of Covid restrictions.

However, marmalade does keep wonderfully well! Seville oranges have arrived in the shops so if you’re getting the preserving pans out, please consider making a few extra jars for Christian Aid. We hope to be able to have our Jam and Jelly Sale in the autumn, and marmalade would be a very welcome addition. Thank you!   The Christian Aid Team.

 

FORTHCOMING SERVICES AT MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH 

Sunday 14 February -  Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth
8.00am onwards Online Worship: Website
8.00am onwards Phone Worship: Dial-a-Sermon
Note: No Services in the Sanctuary

MIDWEEK PEACE AND PRAYERS  Midweek peace and prayers will not take place until further notice.

OFFERING  The Church is very grateful to all those who continue to support it through their regular and one-off donations, now possible through standing order or the ‘give.net’ facility on the website give.net/20311853 So many members have kindly changed from Freewill Offering Envelopes to standing order that envelopes will not be distributed in future. Because of ongoing concerns regarding Covid19 it is not known when open plate offerings will recommence. If you wish to discuss the manner of your future offerings please feel free to contact me using the details shown on the last page of the Grapevine parish magazine.  Hugh Somerville

Recommended Daily MeditationsFr Richard Rohr at www.cac.org      Also, see www.pray-as-you-go.org

Books for the Journey

A Literary Christmas  British Library Publishing 2018 and 
The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel by Helen K Bond  WB Eerdmans Publishing 2020

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Forthcoming Deadlines

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

Next Grapevine: Friday 25 February 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.

***

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

Images – Some courtesy of Pixabay

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 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

      

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