Monday, August 23, 2010

more on pilgrimage . . . when heaven breaks in

Inspired from quiet time in Celtic Daily Prayer, 8/23/10:

In 561 Columba arrived on lona with his twelve; in 1938 MacLeod arrived with another band of twelve, half craftsmen without jobs, half students for the ministry. They built a wooden shed to live in by the fallen monastery and began the work of re-building. MacLeod recounts that the group needed money with which to get its project started. 'I wrote to the richest man I knew. He replied that I should go see a psychiatrist at once. Then I asked - me a pacifist, mind you - Sir James Lithgow, a builder of warships at his Govan shipyard. He was interested, but asked if I would give up my pacifism if he gave me the £5,000.1 said "Not on your life." "Then," he said, "I will give you your £5,000." ‘Materials were hard to obtain: 'The war was on and the government commandeered all timber. But a ship coming from Canada struck a storm and jettisoned its cargo of lumber in the Atlantic. The tirnber floated 80 miles, finally landed on Mull, opposite lona - and all the right length! It roofs the lona library today.'

If we are “building” for God, He will provide. However, if we are building idols of and for ourselves then He cannot support it.

It's not my brother or my sister but it's me, O Lord: standing in the need of prayer. We are so warm in our own self-esteem that we freeze the folks around us. We get so high in our own estimation that we stand isolated on a mountain top of self-righteousness. That is why You came: Lord Jesus: not to save the lecherous but to turn the righteous to repentance. And it is me, O Lord. I am the lost who needs saving.

There are “places” where the veil between heaven and earth is very thin, “thin places” where only a tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual. Many people have tried to express the experience of such places, but words escape them, and they can only return to them hoping to regain the experience again. Some will visit physically places like Iona, Lindisfarne or Clonmacnoise, but most of us “visit” in our hearts wherever God has us.

God asks, 'Who will go for me?

Who will extend my reach? And who, when few will listen

will prophesy and preach? And who, when few bid welcome,

will offer all they know? And who, when few dare follow,

will walk the road I show?'

John L. Bell & Graham Maule, The Wild Goose of lona'

May my life be a living sacrifice to you, O God, a pleasant offering in the Name of Your Son.

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