Tuesday, 25 January 2011

KJV@4:00 ...

... in the Good Book Shop (GBS).
 On 242 days this year the Bible will be read from Genesis to Revelation!  My section today was from Exodus 31-35.  Apart from the magnificent descriptions of the furnishings of the Tabernacle, and the disastrous 'golden calf' incident (with the funny comment from Aaron that he just threw the gold into the fire and out came a calf) there's the reassuring promise from the Lord that God's presence will go with us and that the Lord will give us rest.  Exodus 33:14.  
 The Good Book Shop stands on the corner of two streets and now has a pleasant open area from the shop into the foyer of Church House.
 The reading desk stands just beside the new opening and, apart from being very close to a warm radiator, is in a strategic location.  I enjoyed my half hour and certainly recommend it to anyone who can do a slot.  They're taking bookings now for May and following.  There is also some comfortable seating if you fancy hearing the text.
It is a book meant to be read and the rhythm of the Authorised Version is easy on the ear as well as on the tongue.
Having arrived a bit early it seemed a good idea to go into the adjacent Cathedral Church of Saint Anne for a bit of peace and quiet.  Not to be had there today!
Workmen were busy putting up scaffolding so that the lights and heaters can be lowered ... this way the top of your head will be really, really hot!  Actually, I'm not sure how low the heaters will be placed ... but warming a building of those dimensions and with so much bare stone is a bit of a lost cause!  As is so often the case, wearing more clothes is the better answer.
The West Door was open and that's where the labyrinth is ... I did walk it ... but today the background noise was almost impossible to shut out.  However, walking around the path does help focus your praying and under normal circumstances is a useful aid at times. 
 This circle at the entrance to the labyrinth represents all the thirty two counties of Ireland.  Now that's an interesting symbol in a city cathedral!  I suppose you could interpret it as a welcome to all who enter this holy place ... that would work for me!
Of course, one of the oddest things around Saint Anne's is the Spire of Hope that was placed on the cathedral just a few years ago.  It is meant to symbolise the Christian Hope shining out across the city.  Whether or not it achieves its aim the truth is still - there is hope!  No matter how dark things appear, no matter that people have messed up and haven't always had the mind of Christ ... God is still God ... and the great truths are still true: For example: forgiveness, a second chance, the steadfast love of God for all people, the peace that knowing Jesus brings, the yearning for holiness ... and much, more more ...
Sometimes we allow events that have happened, or hurts, to eat away at us ... and that begins to destroy us on the inside.  There is always the danger that we human beings won't forgive even though we have received forgiveness over and over ... and where does that leave us?  If God has accepted me (and that is true!) then I, in turn, must show the same love and acceptance for all humankind.  I do not have the liberty to love this one but not that one ... I cannot be selective when I pray ... we all need the same grace of God ... so it is not my place to judge and condemn ...
Like it, loathe it or just ignore it ... the Spire of Hope is a reminder that things can be different ... but we need to work with God and allow change to happen in our lives, as well as praying for change in the lives of others.

There's a wideness in God's mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in his justice
which is more than liberty.

If our love were but more simple,
we should take him at his word,
and our lives would fill with gladness
in the presence of the Lord.

Church Hymnal number 9
Frederick E Faber (1814-63)


Kelly Smith-Moore said...

Your musings about The Good Book Shop and the Cathedral are of much interest to me! I'm the gal coming from the USA who will be reading on April 11th and knowing how the shop is situated in relation to St. Anne's will help our navigation there. Hmmm, where to find parking?

Rev Elizabeth said...

There's on street parking for two hour periods .... and the High Street multi-storey park is just a short distance away. Depends on where you're staying ... it is also possible to park out of town and get a bus in. The public transport is good and taxis are reasonably priced as well.
Will make a note of 11th April!!

Liz S said...

Nice to see pics of bits I remember! Wish we had a GBS

Loey said...

I enjoyed your entry for today.
Your photos are very nice.

Anita said...

What a gorgeous cathedral!

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