God completes circles

God seems to return me often to my starting point so that things look different or l become more conscious that l have changed as l complete a circle for the second time. Three years ago, l pulled out of a class studying Esther from the OT to start college and now l return to this book of the Bible which l only covered by two thirds first time around, to start the last third with an exegesis of chapter 6. This will be my last ever essay and l really only have this weekend to crack it before an intense week of visits and days out as we complete the Leavers' course.

Leavers' course takes us to Crematoriums on Monday, a vicarage for some reflection on Tuesday, to college to share testimonies to our learning and development on Wednesday, talks about Canon Law and clergy burn-out on Thursday with a seventies disco, BBQ in the evening and then final words about what to expect from the ordination ceremony on Friday followed by the Principal's charge. We have a Commissioning Service and lunch on the Saturday and that's your lot.

Esther has little to say about God and yet he is very present and l think this is significant. l think about that policeman I walked with around the parish l am going to serve, last night. l didn't spend two hours testifying to the works of Jesus, or sharing my testimony or even asking him about any faith he might or might not have, we just talked. I have calmed down rather a lot over the last few years. David Runcorn said words that will stay with me from college. l could testify to Barth's big 'yes' and 'no,' D'Costa's inclusivity, Justin Martyr's ubiquitous cross dawning the landscape of our world and our minds but David Runcorn's 'God has all the time in the world' has had an impact on me and still continues to hold challenge as I step out praying to be more patient and graceful. We are encouraged before we leave to apologise to our fellow class-mates and be reconciled to one another and mine would be that they accept my apologies for when I have been too quick to speak and too slow to listen.


Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

A Seventies disco? Is that to remember the lost days of the Doctrine Commission's individualist Christian Believing and The Myth of God Incarnate? Those were the last days?

Rach said...

Individualist? - believing in one who aims for relationship with all - as opposed to believing in what - many, many, many which appeals only to our individualist agenda?

Christianity is about being corporate and covenantal not individualistic.

I reckon had I lived during the seventies, which I did but only as a preschooler, the seventies might have had a lot to teach me about community.

As for the Doctrine Commission - have you read 'The Mystery of Salvation' - I really like this book.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Christian Believing by the Doctrine Commission in the 1970s was accused of being too individualistic, the essays diverse by each author. It was followed by memory in 1981 by a book about the Church as corporate. It was the beginning of the end for secure liberal theology in the Church of England.

Rach said...

Really - you mean they tightened up on doctrine after this. In terms of a liberal approach - what really constitutes one these days - I guess these things change over time - would it be, as I think we tend to forget - those who do not believe in virgin birth and bodily resurrection. My college is fairly conservative so the liberal point of view, doctrinally, is not something we really cover.


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions