Gerard and Chrissie Kelly are co-founders of the Bless Network, a movement of young leaders committed to God's mission on mainland Europe. They live in Normandy, France, where Bless has a missional community and prayer base.
In the busyness of life, we can forget to spend time with one another. Dutch artist Rob Sweere has created the “Contemplatorium- Love Tree," reminding passersby to do so. Designed to encourage discussion and meditation, the built-in seating is shaped like a key hole.
I hardly know her I want to know her I want to feel her Lines and contours I want to cross her Rivers and ranges I want to encounter her Tongues and faces I want to taste her Fruits and seasons I want to know you EUROPE I want to know if I can fall in love with you I want to know if This is where I’ll grow I want to know if It’s with you that I BELONG
We talked this morning at church about some themes from 1 John, ending with the apostle’s call to us to be imitators of Christ. I used the image above, mentioning the fact that the book ‘The Imitation of Christ’ had for centuries been the most read Christian book apart from the Bible.
Chrissie said that at first glance she had misread the slide as ‘The Limitation of Christ’.
And there we were, an accidental moment opening the door to an astounding truth. For centuries we concerned ourselves with Imitating Christ, but have we fallen more recently into the Limitation of Christ: locking Jesus up in our faith-formulas and salvation-systems?
Be assured, the moment you find yourself telling God who he is allowed to love, or forgive, or accept, and just how it is that he has to back your particular take on some doctrine or other: you are engaging, even unwittingly, in the Limitation of Christ.
However big you think God might be, he’s bigger. The miracle on which the Christian faith is built is the assertion that despite presenting himself to us in a specific body, rooted in history, Jesus is and remains the force that fills the universe, the automator of every atom and the lover of every molecule he has made.
Don’t panic about being, yourself, entirely limited. You’re human; you’re supposed to be. But let’s agree to setting Jesus free from the cumbersome and chafing limitations we have placed on him.
Managed to squeeze in enough time on my welsh weekend to visit Laugharne, former home of the poet Dylan Thomas. A very brief visit, but inspiring all the same. More than anything Thomas captured the connection between the natural world and the power of words. Here are the few thoughts I mustered whilst there:
Laugharne, October 2013
To come to Laugharne is to walk into a legend. I have known is place in words and photographs for much of my adult life. Words about Dylan; words of Dylan. The photographs of Rollie McKenna. All in evocation if the place I have now come to. The castle sitting in splendid defiance to watch over the estuary. Caring little for Swansea, just along the coast, for Cardiff over the hills. Even less so for London, a world away. Grey stone and ivy have conspired here to hold their own world constant, uninterested n the histories beyond.
I can understand why Dylan wrote here, what it was that he found. A reckless sky; a flat, compliment sea. Birds and tides turning to each other’s call. There is no threat here. No storm, no war. No earthquake rumbling in the mountains…..