Our Babel

Psalm 104 LORD, how manifold are your works!

There were three of us this morning. Damp weather, family gatherings and work…

But the Holy Spirit turned up in our love for the world, our love for one another and our love for God.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
John 14:15‭-‬17 NRSV


We gather round a table, share news, share our lives, share a drink and a bite to eat. This is the characteristic of our gathering followed by a form of reading from the set readings for the Sunday; a reading from the Hebrew Bible, a Psalm, a letter to the early Christians and a reading from the accounts of the life of Jesus (a gospel).

Then as a community we listen to one another as we share what we find encouraging, what we find difficult and what we find a barrier in what we have read. We follow a rule in how we conduct ourselves, of brevity, not sorting one another out and embracing stillness in listening. Children can be part of this and are welcome to build draw or play, sharing what that have created if they want to or what they heard in the readings.

To end we pray the prayer shared by Jesus and a blessing of peace. Rarely we sing and monthly we share bread and wine.

This is a form of worship and the meal at its centre has become our Tower of Babel. Through a table gathering and the sharing of food, be it breaking bread or a fish breakfast, Jesus shows himself. But the table is the ground of division in the church.

God has chosen to unite us by dividing the fire of glory among us reversing the curse of Babel.

Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Acts 2:3‭-‬4 NRSV


Jesus calls the church his body and sows peace. We take the gift and build a tower of words to set us apart. Jesus says to everyone to gather and we construct reasons why all may not.

Our heart at Takeley is to not do this, but I am sure that in my writing this, we have already been labelled. I believe what we do is a way and brings the Way of Jesus to all ways and enables us to hear in each of our languages the Word of the Spirit, the Voice of God. I recognise in it though a challenge to the gatekeepers of our faith and for this I am truly sorry.

Broken by Ray Davies BBC

BBC drama Broken ‘all about the Eucharist’, says McGovern – The Tablet

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