Monday, 4 March 2013

Breathing, bathed in, mercy

The air is not so full of motes, of atoms, as the church is of mercies; and as we can suck in no part of air but we take in those motes, those atoms, so here in the congregation we cannot suck a word from the preacher, we cannot speak, we cannot sigh a prayer to God, but that that whole breath and air is made of mercy.

The two best discoveries of the last week or so have been the spring pictured and the quotation set out above.

The spring is by Laceby Beck which we chanced upon during a recent walk. It is a mile and a half from here although we had not been there before. The circles in the top picture are being made by water welling up from the chalk beneath. The bottom picture is then of the clear pool this creates already flowing strongly into the beck (or into a pipe which runs beneath the path beside the beck).

The quotation is from a 1624 sermon of John Donne which I chanced upon reading round for the two study days on Donne I’m leading this month. Again, it isn’t something I’d come across before, but it seems quite as much worth knowing as his ‘no man is an island’ and ‘into that gate they shall enter’ passages.

I used both discoveries in our services on Sunday for which the provision of scripture began with ‘Ho everyone that thirsts, come to the waters, and you that have no money, come, buy and eat’ and finished with gardener speaking of the fruitless tree ‘let it alone for one more until I dig round it and put manure on it’.

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