The Waystead is a Hermitage of the Lindisfarne Community, established with the intent to foster the love of God in the world. Our resolve is to follow the Way of the One in Whom we live and move and have our Being.
We trust that by thoughtfully founding, and steadfastly keeping, a dwelling place and setting it apart as a place of prayer, reflection, and contemplation, we will be able to hold onto that resolve.
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A Drift of Pinions
NRSV: 1Then the Lord
answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 Who is this that
darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
CJB: 1 Then Adonai
answered Iyov out of the storm:
2 “Who is this,
darkening my plans with his ignorant words?
NRSV: 4 Where were you
when I laid the foundation of the Earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
CJB: 4 “Where were you
when I founded the earth?
Tell me, if you know
NRSV: (2)……a Son, whom he appointed
heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the
reflection of Gods glory and the exact imprint of Gods very being,…..
CJB: ….his Son, to whom he
has given ownership of everything and through whom he created the
universe.3 This Son is the radiance of
the Sh’khinah, the very expression of God’s essence,
In the beginning, Lord,
you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish,
but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
12 like a cloak you
will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.
CJB: 10 and,
“In the beginning,
you laid the
foundations of the earth;
heaven is the work of
11 They will vanish,
but you will remain;
like clothing, they
will all grow old;
12 and you will fold
them up like a coat.
Yes, they will be
changed like clothing,
but you remain the
your years will never
St Michael and All Angels; September 29th
Job has been my favorite book of the Old Testament since
I was a little girl and unchurched.
I think it was because my father loved it, and he would read
Chapter 38 from the King James Bible in a resonant voice:
19 Where is the way
where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest
take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the
He would read the whole chapter out loud just for the joy of it, and tell me that the King
James Bible had the most beautiful language of all. I read Shakespeare as a
teenager as well, and I think perhaps my love of language was born between the
This love arose out of the tingling shiver that I felt
sometimes, hearing superb and evocative language. Words could bring me to
tears, or make me feel like dancing, or sometimes even as if I could fly. This
love was the compelling force that made me begin to write, first poetry and
then essays and reflections.
As far as the angels go, I never thought much about the
angels until I became a police officer and found out that St. Michael was our
patron saint. My only other exposure to a developed concept of what an angel
might be was in reading C.S. Lewis’s description of an Oyarsa, which were the
tutelary angels of planetary bodies in his science fiction series.
“The nineteenth century poet Francis Thompson speaks
of our blindness to angelic presences, asserting that the Kingdom of God is not
distant from us in a strange far away realm, (Malacandra or Perelandra?) but is
as close as our breathing. The movement of angels’ wings, “the drift of
pinions,” we so long to hear are right alongside us, but we cannot hear the
sound because we have our doors shut so tight against the supernatural. The
guardian angels have not forsaken us, they keep their ancient divinely
appointed places. The Psalmist speaks of angels protecting us from striking our
foot against a stone (91.12). Here Thompson depicts a scene of stumbling a
little, turning over a stone in the path , and the angels lurching forward
their wings outspread protectingly. The fault lies with us; it is our
estrangement from the holy, that causes is time and time again to “miss the
many splendored thing (“The Kingdom of God”).”
(I originally wrote this in November 2015, after reading a book on understanding Jesus's teachings in the light of first century Jewish Temple mysticism. I had been struggling with the cannibalistic implications in the Eucharist of "eating Jesus's body and drinking his blood." It was such a relief to discover this interpretation which connects neatly with the way his disciples would likely have understood the language Jesus was using.) Eucharist A little bit of research on the internet produced a
description of Jewish ritual sacrifice in the time of Jesus. A person, say a
woman named Sarah, offers a goat. She buys it and takes it to the priest at the
Temple. He examines it to see if it is “perfect,” i.e. healthy and unblemished.
He then takes it and slits its throat with the ritual words, “This is Sarah’s
blood.” The meaning should obviously be, that this is the blood belonging to
Sarah and offered on her behalf. The blood would then be poured out at the base
of the …
Lectio: Psalm 137 *****3 when
those who had taken us captive
asked us to sing them a song;
our tormentors demanded joy from us —
“Sing us one of the songs from Tziyon!” 4 How can we sing a song about Adonai
here on foreign soil? **** 7 Remember, Adonai,
against the people of Edom
the day of Yerushalayim’s fall,
how they cried, “Tear it down! Tear it down!
Raze it to the ground!” 8 Daughter of Bavel, you will be destroyed!
A blessing on anyone who pays you back
for the way you treated us! 9 A blessing on anyone who seizes your babies
and smashes them against a rock!
Micah 7:11-20 13 The earth will be desolate for those living in it,
as a result of their deeds. 18 Who is a God like you,
pardoning the sin and overlooking the crimes
of the remnant of his heritage?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in grace. 19 He will again have compassion on us,
he will subdue our iniquities. You will throw all their sins
into the depths of the sea.
almost always have a feeling of discontent (dukkha) when I encounter a way of
looking at the world that exhorts me to define suffering as victimization. This
way leads people to become social activists, fighting “injustice,” “poverty,”
“violence,” and causes them to want to change “society” to make it a 'better'
place. This way of thinking seems to me to miss the point. I call it
"bootstrapping,” because it makes me think of the old saying that describes a
certain kind of futility by the phrase, “trying to pull yourself up by your own
bootstraps.” It can't be done. It seems to me that people often perceive
concepts like "injustice" as entities in their own right, with a kind of
inimical but impersonal life of their own. This leads to the belief that ideas
can do battle in the arena of social activism and when righteousness is the
victor, then "society" will change for the better. I see this as a form of
delusion, and exactly the sort of error tha…