Lent 2012: Day Ten

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.

We’ve had a lot of trouble as the human race haven’t we? We really do struggle to find a harmonious way to live.

Well first thing to say is that we cannot put God in a box. There is a mystery, and saying that isn’t retreating into some kind of losing, it’s about putting faith into life and stopping using reason to try and work out every little thing. God is deeper. There is more truth to be found than in simple facts.

I’ve spent the afternoon reading William Blake poetry, and an evening watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and I’ve come out of both with an affirmation of this great truth that God is Love, and that God, that Love, is the source of life.

And what is love? I wrote a short poem myself a couple of years ago:

Love is endless, love is pure,
love is something you can’t ignore.
Love is something you can’t explain,
and even though it can cause pain,
it’s something special, something treasured,
something that cannot be measured.

What is love? Love is inside us, love is above us, love is around us.

Reading William Blake with others my age our tutor decided that we all looked far to gloomy for a Friday afternoon, so he led us into song with a loud “Oh happy day”, and the waving of the hands. Gospel Church like. Good news. Oh happy days. Oh joy-filled days. And what did we students do? We all grinned, we all laughed, and we joined in. What else? There is so much good in this world and we too often forget to take notice of it. And too many of us give up, thinking we can’t do anything to help the bad because there’s too much of it. But don’t think that. Please.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this evening showed love for what it is, complicated. But beautiful. The answer. The sustainer. Our love for ourselves, our love for our partners, our love for our neighbours, our love for God, and love from these.

I chose the passage from Galatians today because as William Blake had it in his poetry and as Rowan Williams had it in A Margin of Silence, we need to pay more attention to the Spirit. To our creative impulses. To who we really are. Not to archetypal oppressive laws, but to life! Wake up and live! Smell the beautiful fresh air, breathe, love, live. And help others to live too.

And if you need a bit more encouragement, imagine me singing this hymn from the hills, whilst a hug comes your way, from me and from the Divine Parent, and Brother, whilst your heart is strengthened by the light burning inside you waiting to shine ever brighter, and brighter, and brighter…

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound – his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.

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