Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do you use positively orientated language? Light seems to have a way of making itself present.

Light is everywhere and always and eventually. 
Even in the dark places, light seems to have a way of making itself present; through the cracks, by a candle, by the gentle breeze that moves the shade of the tree.

Great sustainer, we thank you for the light that appears to us daily, for the warmth of the sunshine that awakens us from our slumber and brightens our day. For the moonlight and stars that bring restful reflection and anticipation of the coming dawn.

So it is, I let it be. Amen and Amen


I wrote the above prayer as an articulation of my hearts response to a recent line of a prayer that a friend made reference to. What struck me so poignantly, was although the "heart" of the prayer was trying to bring about the positive, it was actually inherently negative.

The following ramble is one of those tangential thoughts I sometimes have, where one word or phrase takes me elsewhere. I don’t fully understand the context of where my friend’s prayer was but this is where my mind went.

Over the recent years my eyes have slowly been opened to how much Christian prayer language seems to start with the negative. In this case it was giving thanks for the “cracks in life because by them light can come in” and also for human brokenness that "helps us depend on God" or you could perhaps say “something good ‘always’ comes from bad situations”. Although I agree with the basic sentiment in part, I think the language is unhelpful and dangerous, or at the very least it has a very limited time and place usage. I suspect such “negatively orientated” language is perhaps a product of “one” type of Christianity that has historically consciously or unconsciously had to make people feel so bad about life and themselves, so that they can be given a positive message and experience to make them feel \ be better. As opposed to celebrating all of that which is good and helping people experience that same goodness in better and more meaningful ways, even amongst those parts of life that are perhaps not always quite what they could or should be.

When we talk or pray or think, how do we word or phrase things? Are we being creators of the positive and blessing or something less? Is the cup half full or is it half empty?

I do acknowledge there are times and places for “negatively orientated” language. Sometimes you need to express grief, anger, hopelessness and loss in both private and communal settings. I did just that in the opening prayer for a worship liturgy I created back in 2006 which was inspired from a “Faith and doubt after disaster service” I’d attended the previous year at Greenbelt in England. I wrote this in a dark and confusing time of my life. 

My opening prayer to that sacred gathering went like this:

Call: We claim this time and space
and welcome God and each other, in the
name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Response: We stop and are silent for
we are overwhelmed.

Call: The Lord is Good for his Love and compassion
lasts forever, let us praise the Lord!

Response: I feel so disappointed, disillusioned
and let down, I’m not sure I
know this God anymore?.

Yes - indeed, sometimes life "is shit". Sometimes perhaps "darkness" is all that is being experienced, but is that where it always ends forever? I choose and intend to phrase my thinking and speaking most of the time in a language of the positive persuasion. It's perhaps only a small reordering of words but over a lifetime I suspect it will in fact shape my whole life, relationships and experiences. I want to be an attractor of the positive in my life and the facilitator of the positive in others.

May peace and light always be with you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Viability of the Necropolis for Joyous Nuptials

I had to laugh when I read in a paper about the local council turning a historic cemetery next to the Cathedral into a wedding venue.

"... although some councilors cast doubts on the attraction and viability of the necropolis for joyous nuptials ... that said, there may be an attraction for the city's 'Goths' if they were planning to stage a wedding among the tombstones ... "

From Newcastle "The Post" Paper. 18th April, 2012. P.2

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Funny

A friend sent this to me on Facebook. It's f awesome! Oh how I love a progressive church. Something tells me though they might not be thinking along my train of thought LMAO .... Gold!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Thinking

I opened my eyes this morning and thought. Arr its Easter Sunday, old time words of comfort came to mind; "Christ is risen Alleluia. He's risen indeed Alleluia". But what does it mean? Good question I say to myself, forever grateful for my Easter waterskiing and camping tradition surrounded by family, friends and stunning views, breathing in life, life in all its fullness. Lindt Chocolate it's simply amazing. Amazing indeed Alleluia!