Meditation, Elizabeth Hopner
God, ever-present, we pray for quietness within, a stilling of the thoughts that race through our minds. As we listen for your voice and reflect on the people and places in our lives, may we see the world through your deep love and compassion:
Your image is within each person we meet and yet there are often times we do not see. We fail to look because we have become absorbed in our own will, not yours.
Many times we have missed meeting you,
Many times we have not been open to receiving the wisdom of another
because we thought we knew best.
Many times we have entertained angels unawares and missed
the chance to receive from them living water ...
Each one of us is but one small part of your universe
and we are interdependent with all other parts - they give us life.
All parts of your creation, from the smallest atom to the sun and the moon,
work together to sustain this life you have given us.
You are the rock of our salvation.
You have made us to be in relationship with one another.
You have called us to care for one another and for your world ...
Forgive us those times when we have forgotten your presence and carelessly
failed to appreciate the beauty and intricate pattern of your gifts ...
Deep in our hearts, we sing for joy. Thank you for each day, each hour, each moment of our lives as we reap the benefit of those who have gone before us.
Every tool we use, clothing we wear, even food we eat, teaching we receive, is there through the God-given gifts of others. We are connected to the past through aeons of time.
Our faith is your gift and has been passed on to us by people of every generation, reaching down through the centuries. Like Moses and the woman at the well, we discover your living water ...
Forgive us when we are feeling let down, looking without seeing; demanding to be heard instead of listening and trusting the wisdom of your teaching.
Your words through the prophets, your way shown through Jesus Christ, are fountains of sparkling living water flowing into our lives feeding and cleansing and quenching the thirst of our searching hearts.
We hear your voice speaking “You are my Beloved”.
Sitting in the garden of your creation we feel your love well up within us and
we sing with the birds of the air, the song of joy within our hearts.
William Spotswood Green, 1882, The High Alps of New Zealand, writes of quarrelsome keas.
We were aroused from our slumbers about dawn on February 26th by the flapping of wings and querelous cries of three keas near our tent. My men rose to get some breakfast and start for the lower camp, and I lay snug in my bag, determined to get another doze. I could hear Kaufmann pelting the birds with stones, and after the men were gone I heard claws scraping the ridge of the tent. Fearing that they might tear a hole in the material I wriggled from my lair, and, stepping out of the tent, stretched and yawned in the sunshine, much to the astonishment of the keas, who flapped about, pitching on the boulders and screaming at me in an indignant manner; every movement I made brought down a regular volley of abuse.
From the preface of King Solomon's Ring, Routledge, 2002, first in German, 1949.
As Holy Scripture tells us, the wise King Solomon, the son of David “spake also of beasts and of fowl, and creeping things, and of fishes” (I Kings 4:33). A slight misreading of this text, which very probably is the oldest record of a biology lecture, has given rise to the charming legend that the king was able to talk the language of animals, which was hidden from all other men. Although this venerable tale that he spake to the animals and not of them, certainly originated from a misuderstanding, I feel inclined to accept it as a truth; I am quite ready to believe that Solomon really could do so, even without the help of the magic ring which is attributed to him by the legend in question, and I have every good reason for crediting it; I can do so myself, and without the aid of magic, black or otherwise. I do not think it is very sporting to use magic rings in dealing with animals. Without supernatural asssistance, our fellow creatures can tell us the most beautiful stories, and that means true stories, because the truth about nature is always far more beautiful even than what our great poets sing of it, and they are the only real magicians that exist.
Emmaus & Will you know
When he taps you on the shoulder,
When he falls instep beside you,
And joins your conversation on the way?
Will you recognise the stranger,
Who listens to your story
And shatters your conclusions
With a different way of seeing,
Yet your hearts are stirred within you
At the words she has to say?
Do you believe that there’s a pattern?
When your world is crumbling round you
And you journey on in sadness,
Do you believe that there’s a pattern?
Will you let it be redrawn?
Will you let Christ do the drawing
And sketch hope where you feel pain?
We believe that God has been here
We believe that God is still here;
We believe that God is coming back again.
We believe that there’s a pattern
And love is at its centre: -
We do not always see it,
Sometimes we skew it badly,
Yet the pattern still remains.
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