God is Alive

God is dynamic, always on the move. God is alive, dynamic, still but always on the move, always changing, yet always essentially the same. Reinventing God. Reimagining the Godself, presenting a different face to us or no face at all, but from an unchanging core. God is alive, dynamic, always in the process of becoming, yet at the same time, always in the process of becoming something else, yet always consistent, even in the midst of a myriad inconsistencies. God is chaos, but as we are learning, there are patterns in chaos.

God is the Source of life. God is alive. God is life-giving. God is the life-giver.

God is eternal, but that is not the same as being static. God's stillness is poise, the balance of the dancer in mid-leap. Human beings live at a furious pace, but if we are willing to isolate a moment, mark it out as distinct, separate and special, we can align ourselves with a Life in which the "time" that elapses between one heart-beat and the next might be the entire life-span of the universe. A Life in which a "present moment" can be infinite.[1] We can dip into this Life. Here and now. In this present moment, we can access its renewing and regenerative power. For it is in the present moment that God meets with us. To give God a moment in time is to find ourselves connected to the wealth of eternity.

God is changeless, but that is not the same as being rigid. On the contrary, the Life of God is gloriously open-ended. As the poet, John Mason, wrote in one of his hymns: "Thou art a sea without a shore, A sun without a sphere; Thy time is now and evermore, Thy place is everywhere"[2] The life of God knows no limit; it is always on the move towards us. What remains constant is God's purpose, attitude, intention and response. God is Life: always self-renewing, always expanding itself, always re-generating and generating new life. The expansive nature of the Life of God is described in the words of blessing God speaks over Creation: Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth, the sky, the seas. [3] God loves Life, and wants that life to be abundant. God is forever reaching out with an infinite resourcefulness. If we align one of our present moments with the Present Moment of God, we are immersed in a current of abundant life, passionate love and amazing grace.

[1] For a day in your courts..... Like a thousand elsewhere.... (Psalm?)
[2] John Mason: "How shall I sing that majesty?" (H&P 8)
[3] Genesis 1.22, 28.

God is eternal, but that is not the same as being static. God's stillness is poise, the balance of the dancer in mid-leap. Human beings live at a furious pace, but if we are willing to isolate a moment, mark it out as distinct, separate and special, we can align ourselves with a Life in which the "time" that elapses between one heart-beat and the next might be the entire life-span of the universe. A Life in which a "present moment" can be infinite.[1] We can dip into this Life. Here and now. In this present moment, we can access its renewing and regenerative power. For it is in the present moment that God meets with us. To give God a moment in time is to find ourselves connected to the wealth of eternity.
God is changeless, but that is not the same as being rigid. On the contrary, the Life of God is gloriously open-ended. As the poet, John Mason, wrote in one of his hymns: "Thou art a sea without a shore, A sun without a sphere; Thy time is now and evermore, Thy place is everywhere"[2] The life of God knows no limit; it is always on the move towards us. What remains constant is God's purpose, attitude, intention and response. God is Life: always self-renewing, always expanding itself, always re-generating and generating new life. The expansive nature of the Life of God is described in the words of blessing God speaks over Creation: Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth, the sky, the seas. [3] God loves Life, and wants that life to be abundant. God is forever reaching out with an infinite resourcefulness. If we align one of our present moments with the Present Moment of God, we are immersed in a current of abundant life, passionate love and amazing grace.
My friend and mentor, the Rev Sister D. Mary Holliday, used to talk about "moments that take a lot of unpacking." She was describing what happens when my tiny "present moment" becomes aligned with God's infinite Present Moment. God is then able to pour into that fragment of my experience far more than I can see or assimilate at any one time.
The moment resembles a gift that we receive from a very special friend. It is wrapped in thick, high quality paper and tied up with a sumptuous velvet ribbon, both in a deep, rich colour, so it is gorgeous to see and touch, so much so that we put it on a table and spend a long time just looking at it. We almost feel that it is a shame to unwrap it. Receiving it is the first part of the gift. Contemplating it, and anticipating the treasure that might be within, is almost better than finding out what it contains.
And when we do unwrap it, we do so slowly, savouring the moment. We don't want to be rushed, because the process of discovery, of persistent search and gradual revelation, is a major part of the enjoyment, and we do not want that process to end too soon. We unpick the wrappings with care, saving the paper, folding the ribbon, setting both aside; not because we will use them again, but because every part of this procedure has a beauty and a purpose. We don't want any of it to be lost.
Inside the wrapping, there is a beautiful box, a further layer of beauty to behold and appreciate; another container that conceals from us the mystery within. The delay teases and intrigues us. Wondering and imagining is almost unbearably exciting for us. We are caught between delight and fear: loving the thrill of slow unveiling, fearing that the secret, once it is revealed, will disappoint us.
And at last, inside the box, we see the treasure. It is small, yet it fills our mind's eye with a vision of riches. It is a material thing, yet it will help us to fulfil our dream. It is one specific item, yet it gives us access to everything we need. It is personal, yet it will become the source of life not only for us, but for others, too. It is rare, and yet it will give us an abundance we can share, which we can use to generate life for all. It is the key to everything, all that we could want and more.

In the present moment, God visits us where we are, and calls us to a life that is more abundant than we can begin to imagine. A life that is the fullest expression of God's love for us. A life that is everything we might wish for ourselves. This is the vision of God for us, the vision we are called to share, to pursue, to realise. A vision of abundant life for all, in which everyone is called to a feast. Jesus' image of the inclusive feast tells us everything about who God is and what God is like and how God views humanity and what God offers each individual human being. And this is the vision to which the voice of God persistently calls us. The voice that accompanies us wherever we go, that keeps faith with us in the difficult and dangerous places, that reaches us wherever we hide, is calling us to this vision of overflowing welcome.

In the present moment, God visits us where we are, and tells us a story that casts us as heirs to this promise. God calls us to abundant life: though we are so easily distracted or delayed, the voice is patient and persistent, holding the promise before us, re-emphasising God's faith in us. Again and again the voice reiterates and reinforces the promises. This is an invitation, not a demand. The call is God's voice, claiming us when we are lost in the wild, but always and only ever the claim of love, leaving us free to respond. Or not. God who calls us is Love; and loves us. Love is always moving towards the Beloved. God is consistently tender, compassionate, merciful, forgiving. God is the same voice calling each person into truth, healing and holiness, bringing people into mutual understanding.

In the present moment, God visits us where we are, and shows us the way whereby, whatever our circumstances, we will discover the resources we need for what we are called to do. God comes to us where we are. We are invited to begin where we are, here and now, by becoming aware of the present moment. We learn that it is here and now that we live, here and now that God meets with us, here and now that we choose. We learn how to live in the present, rather than always being distracted by past or future. We learn how to be honest with ourselves about who we are and how we are thinking and feeling right here, right now; addressing our feelings of absence and longing, joy and pain. Here and now that we can choose life. And that we are always free, here and now, to choose life and to let that creative choice fill our moment with the renewing life of God.
Spirit as the Voice who speaks within us
Generation, creativity, exploration, flow.
Limitation, restriction, obstruction, overcoming.
within our experience of change.
Managing processes of change.
Turning transition into transformation.
Growing in faith.
All these processes are the same.
Staying put to rebuild the ruins: a different kind of journey.

As we learn how to align our present moment with the infinite Present Moment of God, we e become aware of its potential and how to "choose life" even in unpromising situations. We discover, too, that the voice of God finds us where we hide. (Hagar and Elijah).
There is no isolation that can banish God; no prison that can exclude God; no wall that can shut God out. There is no shout that can deny God; no argument that can silence God; no silence that God cannot share. There is no noise that can drown the whisper of God, and no chaos that is beyond the reach of God's calming, ordering, enlightening Spirit. If God is for us, who can be against us? So what is your wound? What is mine?
Prayers on sources of pain and frustration: no time for me; struggling to care; relentless demands; juggling multiple roles; nothing is ever enough; damage without end. Addictions, self-harm, anti-social behaviour, depression, mental illness. Call expresses God's view of us, God's estimation of our potential Says everything about who we are, or rather, who God says we are rather than who we might think we are Many of us trained to think meanly of ourselves

In the Elizabeth Peters story, The Falcon at the Portal, the hero, Ramses Emerson, is accused of fathering the illegitimate child of a young prostitute in Cairo. It emerges that he has supported the child, Sennia, and attempted to help the mother escape her procurer. The accusation, and his consequent actions, cost Ramses the woman he loves, Nefret. And yet it is his cousin, Percy, who is Sennia's father. Like many other European men, Percy had sought sex with a virgin as a way of avoiding venereal disease. So he paid the procurer to provide him with a young girl he could rape and use. But he did not accept any responsibility for her, or for her child, and was willing to abandon Sennia to a life of poverty and prostitution. In the end it is Ramses who claims Sennia, at first out of a sense of honour, duty or obligation, as a kinsman, and then because he has grown to feel a fatherly affection for her. Though she has cost him so much - and for years he believes his loss to be irredeemable - she is also his pride, his comfort and his joy.
In claiming Sennia, Ramses is motivated by a mixture of emotions, but what is certain is that he does not intend to lay any obligation upon her. He claims her because her father has abandoned her and her mother is dead; because no one else cares for her; and because the alternative is to leave her to suffering and abuse. The claim is a necessity that love lays upon him: it is not a burden to be laid upon her. And in this respect, the story illustrates the way that God's call claims us, yet leaves us free to respond with an answering love - or not.

We are called so that we might find our path of convergence with where God is now, and where God calls us to rejoin the travelling company on the road. Calling together the people of God is much more complicated than calling children together on the beach. when the call goes out, the people who receive it are scattered far and wide. Each must make their own way to the place where they will be united with the others The Voice that calls in the Other:
called by God to travel together.
We seek wisdom, not knowledge; faith, not control.
Confidence comes from realising that the call to the journey comes from God, who takes to the road with us, and who provides us with all that we need along the way. Jesus shows us how we can grow in faith by rooting ourselves in him. Finding a source of strength within us. Present moment. Identity as God's children and heirs. Knowing that we are loved. Affirming ourselves, celebrating the abundance God has given.

process of change will engage everything we are and question everything we have. Change always uproots us from familiar circumstances and requires us to "move on" in some way. Then, even if we have to remain "rootless" in other ways, we will always be able to make a creative response.

[1] For a day in your courts..... Like a thousand elsewhere.... (Psalm?)
[2] John Mason: "How shall I sing that majesty?" (H&P 8)
[3] Genesis 1.22, 28.

God is eternal, but that is not the same as being static. God's stillness is poise, the balance of the dancer in mid-leap. Human beings live at a furious pace, but if we are willing to isolate a moment, mark it out as distinct, separate and special, we can align ourselves with a Life in which the "time" that elapses between one heart-beat and the next might be the entire life-span of the universe. A Life in which a "present moment" can be infinite.[1] We can dip into this Life. Here and now. In this present moment, we can access its renewing and regenerative power. For it is in the present moment that God meets with us. To give God a moment in time is to find ourselves connected to the wealth of eternity.
God is changeless, but that is not the same as being rigid. On the contrary, the Life of God is gloriously open-ended. As the poet, John Mason, wrote in one of his hymns: "Thou art a sea without a shore, A sun without a sphere; Thy time is now and evermore, Thy place is everywhere"[2] The life of God knows no limit; it is always on the move towards us. What remains constant is God's purpose, attitude, intention and response. God is Life: always self-renewing, always expanding itself, always re-generating and generating new life. The expansive nature of the Life of God is described in the words of blessing God speaks over Creation: Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth, the sky, the seas. [3] God loves Life, and wants that life to be abundant. God is forever reaching out with an infinite resourcefulness. If we align one of our present moments with the Present Moment of God, we are immersed in a current of abundant life, passionate love and amazing grace.
My friend and mentor, the Rev Sister D. Mary Holliday, used to talk about "moments that take a lot of unpacking." She was describing what happens when my tiny "present moment" becomes aligned with God's infinite Present Moment. God is then able to pour into that fragment of my experience far more than I can see or assimilate at any one time.
The moment resembles a gift that we receive from a very special friend. It is wrapped in thick, high quality paper and tied up with a sumptuous velvet ribbon, both in a deep, rich colour, so it is gorgeous to see and touch, so much so that we put it on a table and spend a long time just looking at it. We almost feel that it is a shame to unwrap it. Receiving it is the first part of the gift. Contemplating it, and anticipating the treasure that might be within, is almost better than finding out what it contains.
And when we do unwrap it, we do so slowly, savouring the moment. We don't want to be rushed, because the process of discovery, of persistent search and gradual revelation, is a major part of the enjoyment, and we do not want that process to end too soon. We unpick the wrappings with care, saving the paper, folding the ribbon, setting both aside; not because we will use them again, but because every part of this procedure has a beauty and a purpose. We don't want any of it to be lost.
Inside the wrapping, there is a beautiful box, a further layer of beauty to behold and appreciate; another container that conceals from us the mystery within. The delay teases and intrigues us. Wondering and imagining is almost unbearably exciting for us. We are caught between delight and fear: loving the thrill of slow unveiling, fearing that the secret, once it is revealed, will disappoint us.
And at last, inside the box, we see the treasure. It is small, yet it fills our mind's eye with a vision of riches. It is a material thing, yet it will help us to fulfil our dream. It is one specific item, yet it gives us access to everything we need. It is personal, yet it will become the source of life not only for us, but for others, too. It is rare, and yet it will give us an abundance we can share, which we can use to generate life for all. It is the key to everything, all that we could want and more.

In the present moment, God visits us where we are, and calls us to a life that is more abundant than we can begin to imagine. A life that is the fullest expression of God's love for us. A life that is everything we might wish for ourselves. This is the vision of God for us, the vision we are called to share, to pursue, to realise. A vision of abundant life for all, in which everyone is called to a feast. Jesus' image of the inclusive feast tells us everything about who God is and what God is like and how God views humanity and what God offers each individual human being. And this is the vision to which the voice of God persistently calls us. The voice that accompanies us wherever we go, that keeps faith with us in the difficult and dangerous places, that reaches us wherever we hide, is calling us to this vision of overflowing welcome.

In the present moment, God visits us where we are, and tells us a story that casts us as heirs to this promise. God calls us to abundant life: though we are so easily distracted or delayed, the voice is patient and persistent, holding the promise before us, re-emphasising God's faith in us. Again and again the voice reiterates and reinforces the promises. This is an invitation, not a demand. The call is God's voice, claiming us when we are lost in the wild, but always and only ever the claim of love, leaving us free to respond. Or not. God who calls us is Love; and loves us. Love is always moving towards the Beloved. God is consistently tender, compassionate, merciful, forgiving. God is the same voice calling each person into truth, healing and holiness, bringing people into mutual understanding.

In the present moment, God visits us where we are, and shows us the way whereby, whatever our circumstances, we will discover the resources we need for what we are called to do. God comes to us where we are. We are invited to begin where we are, here and now, by becoming aware of the present moment. We learn that it is here and now that we live, here and now that God meets with us, here and now that we choose. We learn how to live in the present, rather than always being distracted by past or future. We learn how to be honest with ourselves about who we are and how we are thinking and feeling right here, right now; addressing our feelings of absence and longing, joy and pain. Here and now that we can choose life. And that we are always free, here and now, to choose life and to let that creative choice fill our moment with the renewing life of God.
Spirit as the Voice who speaks within us
Generation, creativity, exploration, flow.
Limitation, restriction, obstruction, overcoming.
within our experience of change.
Managing processes of change.
Turning transition into transformation.
Growing in faith.
All these processes are the same.
Staying put to rebuild the ruins: a different kind of journey.

As we learn how to align our present moment with the infinite Present Moment of God, we e become aware of its potential and how to "choose life" even in unpromising situations. We discover, too, that the voice of God finds us where we hide. (Hagar and Elijah).
There is no isolation that can banish God; no prison that can exclude God; no wall that can shut God out. There is no shout that can deny God; no argument that can silence God; no silence that God cannot share. There is no noise that can drown the whisper of God, and no chaos that is beyond the reach of God's calming, ordering, enlightening Spirit. If God is for us, who can be against us? So what is your wound? What is mine?
Prayers on sources of pain and frustration: no time for me; struggling to care; relentless demands; juggling multiple roles; nothing is ever enough; damage without end. Addictions, self-harm, anti-social behaviour, depression, mental illness. Call expresses God's view of us, God's estimation of our potential Says everything about who we are, or rather, who God says we are rather than who we might think we are Many of us trained to think meanly of ourselves

In the Elizabeth Peters story, The Falcon at the Portal, the hero, Ramses Emerson, is accused of fathering the illegitimate child of a young prostitute in Cairo. It emerges that he has supported the child, Sennia, and attempted to help the mother escape her procurer. The accusation, and his consequent actions, cost Ramses the woman he loves, Nefret. And yet it is his cousin, Percy, who is Sennia's father. Like many other European men, Percy had sought sex with a virgin as a way of avoiding venereal disease. So he paid the procurer to provide him with a young girl he could rape and use. But he did not accept any responsibility for her, or for her child, and was willing to abandon Sennia to a life of poverty and prostitution. In the end it is Ramses who claims Sennia, at first out of a sense of honour, duty or obligation, as a kinsman, and then because he has grown to feel a fatherly affection for her. Though she has cost him so much - and for years he believes his loss to be irredeemable - she is also his pride, his comfort and his joy.
In claiming Sennia, Ramses is motivated by a mixture of emotions, but what is certain is that he does not intend to lay any obligation upon her. He claims her because her father has abandoned her and her mother is dead; because no one else cares for her; and because the alternative is to leave her to suffering and abuse. The claim is a necessity that love lays upon him: it is not a burden to be laid upon her. And in this respect, the story illustrates the way that God's call claims us, yet leaves us free to respond with an answering love - or not.

We are called so that we might find our path of convergence with where God is now, and where God calls us to rejoin the travelling company on the road. Calling together the people of God is much more complicated than calling children together on the beach. when the call goes out, the people who receive it are scattered far and wide. Each must make their own way to the place where they will be united with the others The Voice that calls in the Other:
called by God to travel together.
We seek wisdom, not knowledge; faith, not control.
Confidence comes from realising that the call to the journey comes from God, who takes to the road with us, and who provides us with all that we need along the way. Jesus shows us how we can grow in faith by rooting ourselves in him. Finding a source of strength within us. Present moment. Identity as God's children and heirs. Knowing that we are loved. Affirming ourselves, celebrating the abundance God has given.

process of change will engage everything we are and question everything we have. Change always uproots us from familiar circumstances and requires us to "move on" in some way. Then, even if we have to remain "rootless" in other ways, we will always be able to make a creative response.

[1] For a day in your courts..... Like a thousand elsewhere.... (Psalm?)
[2] John Mason: "How shall I sing that majesty?" (H&P 8)
[3] Genesis 1.22, 28.

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