In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God
an affirmation of the existence of the Divine shared
by many, perhaps by all, religions and faith groups.
Even by many with no religious association.

There is something there, something immaterial,
a Force, a Power, a Spirit, a Word.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
Something sparked off the big-bang, started it all off.
Something laid down the parameters for evolution,
defined our urge to reproduce, our survival instinct.

Our scientists tell how mankind evolved
point to a millienial timescale.
This is the scientific story.

The myths of most religions point to separate routes
from nothing-ness to all that we are today,.
ideas constrained by ancient ignorance
the urgent need for explanation.

The need to answer How and When?
How did it happen?

Scientific analysis of creation may be incomplete .
Await a further awakening, fresh information,
but even that would be insufficient,
until we can answer "Why?".

Why Create?
Why Create? (close)

What is the purpose of it all?

Surely the whole thing isn't centred on me, or even on you.
On an individual's existence, survival, salvation.
Within the millions of humanity, over millions of years,
am I more than dust on the carpet of time?

Am I something waiting to be brushed aside
into the dustbin of lost memories?
Is there more than this?
Do I have a purpose?
Maybe as a thread, a vital thread, in that eternal carpet,
rather than as dust, a surplus external to be cleaned away?

The doctrines of standard Christianity condemn us
to a life-time of sanctified suffering,
of putting "self" aside in the hope of eternal bliss;
of rejecting the gift of life today for salvation tomorrow.
It all seems rather pointless when seen on a wider stage.
When we dare to ask "Why am I?"

Jesus said , that God acts like a mother hen gathering up her chicks
Are those chicks you and I?

What does the mother hen require of us, and what is our purpose?
Is it perhaps just to grow?
To become like her?

Maternal Divinity
Maternal Divinity (close)

The whole concept of a mother hen, a maternal God,
undermines our masculine images of divinity.
Yet that image has implied:
God requiring retribution, vengeance
A wrath-filled God jealous of His honour,
God unable freely to forgive His errant children

Out of such ideas came the subjection of non-believers,
crusades and religious wars, the Holocaust and Inquisition,
the pervasive empire of the church.
This medieval imagery implies a static state,
the ownership of truth which precludes change
which, from self-interest, rejects and denies change.

But is this a God that we recognise in our hearts?
Surely we are meant to move on, even to grow.
Like those chicks gathered by the mother hen,
we are meant to grow into the same maturity as the hen herself.
To become, in time, over millenia, viable companions for God.

And we, you and I, are part of that process,
aiding or detaining the growth of humanity
down the road that Jesus taught us.
The Way that he showed us.

To take that road we do need to:
Look again at what we have been taught and relate it to reality.
Look again at what Jesus taught and see what it implies.
Accept that we risk the same fate as Jesus, if we take his path.
Put our trust in God, alone, as our guide and see where that takes us.

Which Destination?
Which Destination? (close)

Perhaps the options are too wide, too confusing
without reliance on a teacher, guru, priest.

Perhaps our capacity is too small to absorb the wisdom of the ages.
Maybe we do need to turn back to where we started,
the Christian way, yet viewed with new unblinkered eyes;
acknowledging the broad sweep of spirituality
yet happy to progress down a narrower path.
careful, like recovered gluttons, of what we eat,
yet avoiding the narrow path that leads to spiritual anorexia.

Perhaps this was the view that Jesus saw
as he challenged the ideas of past theologians
had a clearer, wider, view of God's purposes,
of how man could respond to God.

The ideas of Jesus were adapted to the needs of man
his story channeled by the need to counter other religions
his teaching subordinate to the needs of power and empire.
Yet we can, with care, unearth his message;
seek therein the purpose of mankind.

For we, humanity, are called to grow,
to evolve, into something that loves
and is lovable.

Eternal Childhood
Eternal Childhood (close)

Life is comfortable cuddled within the maternal feathers.
Yet here, in this nestbox, lies spiritual death, for
we can not grow beyond the vision of the container.
These ideas were served to us in Sunday School
and are still served up, using longer words, from the pulpit.

The land of truth lies beyond the fixed bounds of orthodoxy,
challenges its assumptions, and looks at different angles.
It is a land where we risk loss of direction, hope,
whilst seeking for elusive truth in the maze of myth
with which we are surrounded, bombarded, corralled and cradled.

In our search for truth, we need
to get out of the mental comfort zone of that feathered nest;
to trust that God will shield us from the true danger
which lurks beyond material hurt and injury;
to trust that God will stay with us
on our Cross as He was with Jesus.

Maybe that is what true faith is all about.