Let's not make a drama out of a mystery or are they related?

I'd like to thank the many people who are praying for us and also to thank the people who have been sending us words of encouragement. Edinburgh, where we are living at the moment, is a buzz with activity. This is the month of many festivals. There is the Festival of Spirituality, the Festival of Politics, the International Arts Festival and of course the world famous Fringe Festival.  There must be literally hundreds of thousands of extra people around the city. It got me thinking how good it is to see so many people sharing together and interacting. People from all over the world, from different cultures and perspectives enjoying the idea of being entertained and of entertaining. I for one was extravagantly  entertained this week by General Nick Elees and his wife Wob. I had the great honour of taking the Salute at the Edinburgh Tattoo. Thanks to my chaplain Iain Cunningham for the dramatic picture on the left. I don't know if many people take time to think about this but the idea of entertaining started with God. Entertainment is an ontological word. It has its source meaning in the very nature and being of God.  God is ever in Communion, the Father engaging the Son the Son delighting the Father and the Spirit continually bringing into being the joy of the Father through the life of the Son into the world. This is the Triune  God who continually invites us "to enter in   through 'the open door 'of life itself.  To engage with struggle and pain, disappointment and regret. To experience joy and laughter, hope and love. To encounter loss and forgiveness, anxiety and peace and above all  to understand the significance of the Communion of the Saints. I believe that our healing and sustainance comes through this communion with each other. It is this Communion we experience that allows us to understand the nature of God whose being is Communion.  Thus you can see that as we encounter all these feelings during Festivals like these at present happening  in Edinburgh we are also engaging with a mechanism that  is allowing us to explore the mystery of God. As a Christian I believe in the wonderful mystery of the Trinity. Now when you think of the Christian meaning of Trinity  you are drawn to the idea that God is and has become known to us as three persons yet  in one one nature  - the God substance.  Now that is an enigma if ever there was one.  Yet I live with it and love it. Knowing God , yet not knowing God. Being held at times in the place of mystery is to become  what God has created us to be ;  made in his image. Last Sunday morning I received a very warm welcome from my brothers and sisters in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. I must confess when the service started you got the feeling these people mean business.  Aside form all the  grandure  of the priestly robes, it was the dramatic opening chords of the organ that said everything. I thought to myself, " This is louder than ' The Who'.  It was very dramatic. At the end if the service I was discussing the liturgical significance of the dramatic  musical opening with one of the retired priests, with a gently smile on his face  and a knowing wink he said something like this " Ah the younger liturgist love the drama of the liturgy, for my part I prefer the mystery"  I smiled and thought to myself  "yeah I prefer the mystery too. " It got me thinking those of a certain age will recall an insurance company TV Ad  of the 80s strap line that went along the lines, " We won't make a drama out of a crisis"  Are we not all prone at times to make our own drama out of the mystery of God.  Perhaps all all need to chill out a little bit more and allow God to entertain us a bit longer. Let's take off our shoes from off our feet and be detained a bit longer in the holy place . No doubt we'll  need the  to drama to catch our attention, like a bush burning , but we need the mystery to capture us  for a longer time and lead us into eternity. So enjoy the Festivals and look beyond the drama for the mystery.

Posted By: italker   On: 20 Aug 2012   At: 3:46pm


Thanks for your comments, you know what when we do kick off our shoes the holy ground is always by far the best place to be. We smile and say why do I not do this more often?


Posted By: Diane Ashton   On: 20 Aug 2012   At: 12:33pm

Very interesting take on this - thank you. I, too, should take my shoes off more often and stay in that holy place. We need that nourishment.


Posted By: italker   On: 18 Aug 2012   At: 5:29pm

Thanks Ian Hope your well and enjoying your stay in California.


Posted By: Ian ferguson   On: 18 Aug 2012   At: 5:13pm

That is such a good word. The Liturgy of our church is more than a framework for worship. The presence and mystery of God are revealed in the act of worship.

I love the picture .

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