27 September 2015
words from today’s Collect taken from
is something we all experience from time to time. Unfortunately it seems to have
a kind of negative label. If an Ordinand appeared to be restless, or if the
Novice Guardian in the Community considered someone to restless, it would appear
to be a black mark against them. This can be a misunderstanding.
fact we are born with the experience of restlessness deep within us.
our Christian vocation, we can seek satisfaction in the certainty of our views -
whether traditional or liberal - but neither are the experience of a journey
which perseveres in the dark uncertainties of Faith in God. We may have to
experience the disappointment that the College is not all that we hoped it would
be - or the life in CR - as we expected at the beginning.
said all of this, what is this experience of God that we long for? How should we
recognise it? How should we experience it ?
once said that God was a code word for our bewilderment. Today we do not
hear much talk of life after death. Heaven is not mentioned very often. Ancient
images of it seem to have been discarded and there does not seem to be a clear
understanding of what it might mean. This is curious since it is meant to be the
hope of all of us here this morning.
a baby is inside the mother, it has no concept of what happens next though it is
certainly going to happen.
it is aware of is: the
child is, the
source of life (mother) is and love is. For
Christians these three necessities are a possible description of our own life
after death. Each of us is, God is, Love
is. This is the end of all the longing that we are born with inside us. This is
the ultimate satisfaction – the communion and community of overwhelming love.
Collect says “and so bring us at the last to your heavenly city, where we
shall see you face to face”.
want to with George Herbert’s poem about all this:
God at first made man
a glass of blessings standing by;
us (said he) pour on him all we can:
the worlds riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
strength first made a way;
almost all was out, God made a stay,
that alone of all his treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.
if I should (said he)
this jewel also on my creature,
would adore my gifts in stead of me
rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both would losers be.
let him keep the rest
keep them with repining restlessness:
him be rich and weary, that at least,
goodnesse lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast
Simon Holden CR