Letter from Liz, July 9 2020
Matt 13.1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
I love this account of Jesus sitting on the shore of Lake Galilee. Listening to the waves ebb and sigh on the sand at his feet. Delighting in the wonder of the light on the water. Hearing the cry of the gulls overhead, the voices of fishermen calling over the water. I picture him simply ‘being’ for a few minutes before the clamor of the world picked up. Jesus in all his humanity.
I was imagining Jesus at the beach and thinking about how much I love to be by the ocean, when I read this in Julia Baird’s book “Phosphorescence” where she described what it is like to swim in the ocean (one step braver than anything I can do!).
“We spend a lot of time in life trying to make ourselves feel bigger — to project ourselves, occupy space, command attention, demand respect — so much so that we seem to have forgotten how comforting it can be to feel small and experience the awe that comes from being silenced by something greater than ourselves, something unfathomable, unconquerable and mysterious….. This is also what we sense when we swim in the sea. We become small. When we shrink in significance, we become better at living alongside and caring for others. And we become more content.”
Baird writes beautifully of what it is like to feel awe and wonder - things we value so highly at Incarnation! I’m not through reading it yet, but I am savouring each chapter.
Next week, Simon and I will have an opportunity to sit on a beach and to listen, to smell the ozone, to marvel at how small we are, and how immense God is; and then exhale. I hope so much that each of you will have space this summer to get out of town - even if only for a day! To go somewhere different, see something beautiful and to simply wonder for a while. Closer at home, our Incarnation kids are meeting every Sunday @9.30am in Alcova Heights Park to worship and pray and to wonder at the creativity of our amazing God. You are welcome to join them!
Garden Churches continue to coexist alongside 'at home' worship. We will start a new weekly sign-up including a health form in August… but meanwhile let me know if you want to worship with a Garden Church this Sunday (and for the next two weeks, drop Amy a note if you want an introduction to a Garden host!).
Indeed, for the next two weeks - direct ALL your questions to Amy who will be ‘holding the fort’ whilst I am out of town (thanks, Amy!)
Amy is also preaching this Sunday on Is 55 - a splendid reason to invite a friend to come and worship with you - either online or in a Garden Church!
HEADS UP! Sundays July 19/26 there will NOT be Eucharist @zoom@5pm church (whilst Liz is away).
Finally, are you reading a book you’d like to tell us about? Or do you have a thought you’ve been processing? We’d love to hear from you if you do! Feel free to use the blog ‘comments’, or write us a ‘community reflection’. And, meanwhile, why not sign up online to get our blogs delivered straight to your inbox?
With delight and wonder - so grateful to be your pastor,
Baird, Julia. Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder and Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark. 2020.