Online Worship Archive

Welcome to the online service of worship for Pentecost 2020.

Today's order of service can be download here in PDF format.

The YouTube playlist can be found here.

Or view below.

 

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MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH

EDINBURGH

Online Worship Material Available 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 31 May 2020

 

Pentecost

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings,
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays,
Today the church draws breath at last and sings,
As every flame becomes a tongue of praise.
This is the feast of Fire, Air, and Water,
Poured out and breathed and kindled into Earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker,
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release.
Today the gospel crosses every border,
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in his translation,
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.

Malcolm Guite
Printed with permission from
‘Sounding the Seasons’, Canterbury Press

 

www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

 

 

AS A DIVERSE PEOPLE, THE CHURCH GATHERS TO WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD

 

Welcome and Introduction Revd Helen Alexander

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church; and welcome to this worship online for Pentecost.

This important day in the church’s calendar takes its name from the Greek meaning ‘fiftieth day’, falling as it does 50 days after Easter Day. At Pentecost we celebrate the multifaceted mystery of the Spirit of God.

Here is Malcolm Guite’s sonnet for Pentecost

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings,
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays,
Today the church draws breath at last and sings,
As every flame becomes a tongue of praise.
This is the feast of Fire, Air, and Water,
Poured out and breathed and kindled into Earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker,
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release.
Today the gospel crosses every border,
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in his translation,
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in every nation.

I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship…..

Scripture Sentences

O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.
Bless the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD!

Let us pray

Grant us your Spirit, almighty God, that we may approach the beginning of a new day in praise for the gift of life and renewal.

Let the wind of your grace open the windows of our minds to new visions of hope, and lift our spirits from listlessness of heart to fresh vitality of purpose.

Let the fire of your love be rekindled within us in the light of the morning that we may be open to all that comes to us today as thought and word, presence and promise; for your love’s sake.

Let the healing streams of the water of life pour upon us the grace of cleansing and forgiveness, that as we rise to the day, we may do so in the assurance that we are children of your love and held forever in your eternal life: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Collect

Almighty God, who as on this day fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending your Holy Spirit and opening the way of life eternal to every race and nation, keep us in the unity of your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Children’s Reflection Revd Helen Alexander

Good morning to all the children listening in. Remember me? I’m Helen, the locum minister talking to you today. Today we are thinking about the church.  I wonder if you know this little rhyme with actions that I learned when I was a child:

Here is the church –
that’s the outside of a building like Mayfield Salisbury Church that many of you know well
And here’s the steeple –
that’s the long pointy bit that rises to the sky from the roof
Open the doors and here are the people –
that’s us when we can be altogether inside the church on a Sunday morning
Here’s the minister going upstairs –
climbing a step or two at the front to speak to everyone
And here she is saying her prayers–
and asking everyone to say them too.

Try doing it yourselves as I do it again:

Here is the church
(lock the fingers of both your hands together, backs of fingers facing up)
And here’s the steeple
(bring your 2nd fingers of both hands together to point upwards)
Open the doors and here are the people
(turn your hands palms upwards, fingers still crossed)
Here’s the minister going upstairs
(separate your hands and count the fingers of one hand with a finger of the other)
And here she is saying her prayers
(bring the palms of your hands together fingers pointing upwards)

Now I wonder which part of this you think is the most important?

Is it the church – like the lovely building of Mayfield Salisbury that many of you know so well, inside and out? Is it the steeple that rises far above the roofs and chimney pots and tells everyone for miles around that we’ve a church there? Is it the people gathered all together on a Sunday morning? Is it the minister who takes the church service every week?

I wonder what you think? If we’d been in church, I’d have asked you to put your hands up when you thought we’d got to the most important part.

Well, every bit of the rhyme is important but I’ll tell you what gets my vote:

I think that the people are the most important.

You can have a building, even a lovely one like Mayfield Salisbury, and you can have a steeple that tells everyone that’s there, and you can have a minister, and he or she is important too.

But if you don’t have any people, then all you have is an empty building with nothing going on, no one to welcome newcomers when they’ve seen the steeple, and a lonely minister with no one to talk to and nothing much to do.

So the people are most important: that’s you and your friends and mums and dads and grannies and grandpas and uncles and aunties and teachers, and me as well because a minister needs people too. All of us make the church, whether we can go to a building on Sundays or not.

Now I’ve written a new ending for the rhyme just for today because of course, right now we can’t go into the church Sunday by Sunday. But the people are still part of the family of the church even when we can’t get together as we did.

Here is the church
And here’s the steeple
Open the doors and –
Where are the people?  (separate hands and hold each of them up, palms facing out.)
All at home, but though we’re apart
We hold one another in our heart  (bring hands together fingers pointing up, bend the tips of your fingers, keeping the backs of them together; then and bring your thumbs down bringing their tips together to form the shape of a heart.)

Now we’ll say our prayers with your saying the words after me (hands together)

Dear God, thank you for our friends and family.
Thank you for everyone who joins with us to be the church.
We pray for people who are happy today
And also for those who are sad or lonely.
And we thank you that you love us all;
For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

HYMN  The Spirit lives to set us free

The Spirit lives to set us free,
walk, walk in the light.
He binds us all in unity,
walk, walk in the light.

Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light of the Lord.

Jesus promised life to all,
walk, walk in the light.
The dead were wakened by his call,
walk, walk in the light.

We know his death was not the end,
walk, walk in the light.
He gave his Spirit to be our friend,
walk, walk in the light.

By Jesus’ love our wounds are healed,
walk, walk in the light.
The Father’s kindness is revealed,
walk, walk in the light.

The Spirit lives in you and me,
walk, walk in the light.
His light will shine for all to see,
walk, walk in the light.

Damien Lundy
© 1978 Kevin Mayhew Ltd

 

WE LISTEN FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD

 

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3b – 13 


3b No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

One Body with Many Members
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Second Reading: Acts 2: 1 – 21

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13 But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

 

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Readers: Walter Thomson and Kay McIntosh DCS

Reflection Revd Helen Alexander

I can’t now remember which contemporary theologian I came across a few years ago suggested that the word God was rather a ‘clunky’ one. This appealed to me as I think that the word God can strike one in an almost materialistic way, as if we are talking about a heavy kind of person with a name, like John for example or, if one is being suitably reverential Mr John Smith. No time now to wonder if the idea of a substantial looking Mary Smith would do any better!

Of course most people realise that the word God is a symbol that only works so far. Some may prefer to talk of Spirit. For this implies certain fluidity, and has led to the adoption of the elements of air, fire and water as ways of talking about the activity of God in the world. There’s a whiff of literalism here too, of course, if we think of the Spirit as some sort of ‘thing’, like a holy artery running through each of us or a ghostly, if benign immaterial ‘something’ floating around in the atmosphere. Whatever the danger of this – and it’s a real one - it does seem to avoid the problem of ‘clunkiness’ when it comes to finding suitable, if inadequate words for that which undergirds our faith.

Today, Pentecost is the Spirit’s Day in the life of the church, though of course every Sunday is the Spirit’s day as well as Resurrection day.

In St Luke’s account of the coming of the Spirit in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, two well-known symbols are at work: that of fire, which was associated in the Hebrew mind with God’s Law, and of wind, primary agent in creation, according to the Book of Genesis when the ‘ruah’ or wind of God swept over the formless void.

In St Luke’s story, the windy, fiery Spirit apparently enabled the apostles’ words to be heard and immediately understood by representatives of the nations of the known world, despite their many linguistic differences.

Whatever happened on the Day of Pentecost, supposing the story is based on some kind of incident in Jerusalem, the point seems to be the effect on the gathering: transformation in communication.

Communication is something of a buzz word in our time and is certainly vital; but the question is how good at it we human beings are, whether within the communion of the church or in any other circumstance.

Let me briefly describe two contemporary situations which I hope might help us to reflect, and possibly widen our perspective a little.

The first involves the current BBC drama ‘Normal People’, the adaptation of a novel by Sally Rooney. The story involves the relationship between a young woman Marianne and her boyfriend Connell who begin a sexual relationship while in their last year at school, and continue this on and off while they’re both students at Trinity College, Dublin. The production has been criticised for the explicit nature of its sex scenes, but in my view these never take away from, and possibly enhance the essential point of the story which is to explore the inner worlds of both people and their extreme difficulties in communicating their essential selves to one another. Marianne’s deep sense of shame and tendency to self-abusive choices, Connell’s confusion about himself and what he wants in life and relationship, and the complexity of both characters are explored with intelligence and deep sensitivity. They both come over as essentially good and honest people, yet quite unable to reveal themselves to one another sufficiently to enable the flowering of the love that one gradually realises is deeply theirs, despite their differences in background and personality.

During last Monday’s episode the two, who were living in different countries, held a stilted conversation remotely on their computers. Connell was very tired and Marianne suggested he go to bed, taking his computer where he could still see the screen. He did so and fell asleep, seemingly for hours, with Marianne’s continuing to work at her desk far away. When Connell woke, she saw immediately and came close to her screen smiling and saying simply ‘Good morning.’ I found this an intensely moving indication of gentleness, understanding and love. I’ve yet to watch the drama to the end, but am led to hope that these two people might come though their struggles together and win through.

The second situation is deeply societal and involves the current debate about the worth of some NHS and social care workers who have up to now been branded as ‘unskilled’, paid a pittance, and yet whose devotion to duty, care and professionalism in the broadest sense would put many a University graduate to shame. This iniquity has been going on for decades in our country, but if any goodness is coming out of the current health crisis, it’s surely that this grossly unjust treatment of valuable human beings, many from ethnically diverse backgrounds, is being rightly and soundly questioned and one would hope, will finally be properly remedied.

Now both of these situations may seem a long way from the first Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.

And yet, say St Paul was alive today, a man of our culture as well as the man of faith we know he was, and say he was presented with the scenarios I’ve described. I like to think that he’d have identified the working of the Spirit of God in each: that in the struggles of the young lovers Marianne and Connell, he’d have seen the slow ripening of the fruits of the Spirit including love, patience, kindness, generosity and self-control, of which he wrote long ago to the young church in Galatia; and that also, remembering his letter to the Corinthians, he’d have championed the call for the least members of the body of our society to be valued as much as the rest.

- though he would doubtless be grieving deeply that the Church he loved hasn’t given a better lead on such predicaments throughout its 2000 year history.

RESPONSE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN

 

Anthem If ye love me

Words: St. John 14: 15 - 17
Music: Thomas Tallis (1505 to 1585)

If ye love me, keep my commandments
And I will pray the Father,
and he will give you another comforter,
that he may bide with you for ever,
even the spirit of truth.

Thanksgiving and Intercession

We pray in thanksgiving for the lessons of love that are being learned and relearned day in day out in these demanding times, calling forth strength that people didn’t know they had, binding people together, even though they may be temporarily apart, strengthening the bonds of love and duty that may have been strong before and even stronger now.

We pray for all whose relationships are being tested and tried in these days: for people kept apart perhaps longer than they have ever been in their lives from those who love and support them; for those who long for simple human touch; those who grieve the loss of people whose touch or caress they will never enjoy again; those driven to the edge by hostility and abuse from others who are all too close and from whom they fear they will never be able to separate.

We pray for justice tempered with mercy; politics informed by policies for equity, racial tolerance and the common good; governance shaped by integrity and a regard for the welfare of all.

We pray for the church on this day of celebration and promise of renewal and growth. We give thanks for all the initiatives for worship and service that hadn’t been thought of a few months ago; insights for creative change that may outlive the virus; glimpses of glory and whispers of peace in the lives of individuals and communities of faith all over the world.

We pray for chaplains of all faiths who bring the comfort of word and sacrament to those who are dying; and for those who are blessed by familiar words from their scriptures and by the rites they trust to deliver them into death, whether from a minister or priest; rabbi or imam, or from a quiet, faithful believer at a bedside or on the other side of a screen.

We pray for the members and associates of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury, and for representatives of all churches who may be reading or listening with us today. For all we pray for mutuality of comfort and support; for the spirit of grace and kindness; and in silence we name those of our number that we remember particularly today………………..

O God whose will it is that your people are held in the unity of your love by the grace of your Holy Spirit working within us, between us and around us; hear our prayer for one another in difficulty and joy, in sickness and in health, and bind us ever more fully in the community of your church, visible and invisible; that living or dying we may know that we, and all whom we love and have loved are forever at one with you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

HYMN 594 Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Inflame our souls with love,
transforming every heart and home
with wisdom from above.
Let none of us despise
the humble path Christ trod,
but choose, to shame the worldly wise,
the foolishness of God.

Come with the gift to heal
the wounds of guilt and fear,
and to oppression's face reveal
the kingdom drawing near.
Where chaos longs to reign,
descend, O holy Dove,
and free us all to work again
the miracles of love.

Give us the tongues to speak
the word of love and grace
to rich and poor, to strong and weak,
in every time and place.
Enable us to hear
the words that others bring,
interpreting with open ear
the special song they sing.

Come, Holy Spirit, dance
within our hearts today,
our earthbound spirits to entrance,
our mortal fears allay.
And teach us to desire,
all other things above,
that self-consuming holy fire,
the perfect gift of love.

Michael Forster (b.1946)
© 1978 Kevin Mayhew Ltd

BENEDICTION    

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 

 

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TODAY’S ANTHEM MUSIC

The anthem, a gem of elegant simplicity, was composed in around 1552, by Thomas Tallis, one of the foremost composers of the Tudor period. It became popular with the Elizabethan reformist clergy. During the reign of King Edward VI (1547-1553) it was mandated that the services be sung in English, and that the choral music be brief and succinct ‘to each syllable a plain and distinct note.’ The motet is in two sections with the second section repeated.

 

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INTIMATIONS

 

NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 and St Matthew 28: 16-20.

 

CHRISTIAN AID DEBT JUBILEE PETITION A huge thank-you to everyone who donated to the recent Christian Aid Week and Coronavirus appeals. Because of the way donations were collected this year, we won't know exactly how much money was contributed by our congregation, but we’re sure members will have been as generous as ever. Many of you perhaps felt frustrated at being unable to support the charity in the usual way, so you may be interested to hear of another very worthwhile action you can take.

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading into the poorest countries in the world, where the most vulnerable are falling ill and the economic impacts are leaving people who were already struggling, without a way to feed their families and survive this crisis.

You can help by supporting calls for a debt ‘jubilee’ – requested by governments of poor and vulnerable countries. This would mean cancelling their debt repayments during this crisis.

Will you call on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to broker a debt relief deal for the poorest countries? To take part, go to the Christian Aid website and follow the links to www.christianaid.org.uk/campaigns/debt-jubilee-petition

Thank you! The Christian Aid Team

 

REQUEST FROM BETHANY CARE SHELTER Homeless folks are being housed in the Old Waverley Hotel. The Support Team have requested donations of the following food items;

  • Boxes of cereals (not cornflakes)
  • Jam (not marmalade)
  • Fruit
  • Diluting Juice
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar
  • Crisps
  • Individually wrapped biscuits

Also, you might like to donate but not get back:

  • Novels in a foreign language (got plenty in English)
  • A guitar
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Puzzle books
  • Art supplies
  • MALE clothing

Financial support also welcome.  

If you would like to contribute please contact Jean and Alastair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We would be happy to collect and deliver items.

PS. Many thanks to those who have already donated so generously!

 

YOUTH UPDATES

Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of May can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. Please note the time and age group changes for various activities. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. New virtual youth consent forms must be sent to Hillary before attending a session. For log-in access to the Zoom sessions, or to get a copy of the consent forms, please contact Hillary!

Youth Worship: TONIGHT we will meet on Zoom for a Youth Worship service at 7.00pm. Bring some colouring and writing supplies as we gather together with music, prayer and time for reflection. For log-in information, please contact Hillary.

Children & Youth Resource List: A resource page on the church website will be updated weekly with links to resources which our families can use with their children and youth at home while we are unable to meet as a church community and in our Sunday School groups. The resource list can be found under the 'Young People' tab.

 

EMAIL DISTRIBUTION LISTS

Mayfield Salisbury maintains several email lists to help distribute information throughout the congregation.  The lists are as follows:            

0930 Service list Information pertaining to the Sunday 0930am All-Age Worship and related events.

Youth Newsletter Hillary Leslie, our Youth Worker, sends out a Youth Newsletter to parents of P6 - S6 youth. This keeps the parents and their kids in the loop about important youth-related events and activities

Congregational list General information relevant to the entire congregation. This includes general news, notices of lectures & special events and importantly details on the forthcoming ministerial vacancy.

Grapevine Magazine list The latest magazine in PDF format.

If you would like to be added to any of these lists, please contact the Church Manager,  William Mearns on: 0780 801 1234  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  

Forthcoming Deadlines

Order of service for next week: Thursday at 8.00pm.

Next Grapevine: Friday 26 June at 6.00pm.

Please send submissions to the Church Manager, William Mearns.

Phone: 0780 801 1234 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Books for the Journey

My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul by Mark Oakley.

Luminaries: Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian Way by Rowan Williams.

 

Ecotip: Carry out an inventory of your clothes-
can you recycle, upcycle?

 

Social Media

www.facebook.com/MayfieldSalisbury

www.youtube.com/user/MayfieldSalisbChurch

www.flickr.com/photos/98063709@N06/

Youth Instagram: the.msyg

 www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

Scottish Charity Number SC000785

 

 

Copyright Notices

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church holds a CCLI Streaming License: #88916.

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Online Offering

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,
Edinburgh,
EH9 1TQ

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785

Quotations

  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.
    Origen

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.
    Wittgenstein

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
    Plotinus

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe