cynical by default

i’m meant to be writing deeply meaningful and moving words about pentecost for the flurry of worship moments i’m responsible for in the next few weeks. unfortunately, i can’t move beyond cynicism. perhaps i need a day of detoxing from prison statistics.

who would willingly pray for you to come, spirit?

if you could keep it to a minimum, perhaps:
those little flames are fine –
the fires that warm our hands,
the beautiful flames of a flickering candle
that cast just enough light on the dark places
for us to see our path through,
but not enough for us to see our surroundings.
but to pray for the flames that destroy the walls we have carefully built
in our churches and our lives,
that will change the landscape of the world
as we know it –
i don’t think so.

if you could keep the flames to a minimum
so we could put them out in time for morning tea
that would be helpful.
and if you could warn us about that great wind,
in time for us to take shelter inside
that would make this all much easier.



  1. church is good, challenging, rewarding, sacred.

    Church is sugar coated, introverted, egoistic, political.

    I must admit, some days I only go for the cup of tea and a chat.

    Given the meaning of pentecost, maybe you’re not so far off track.

    On an entirely different note, I went to Response (Alt worship – tassie) on the weekend. Great stuff! Some excellent A/V work that asked some challenging questions juxtaposed by the opportunity for some meditation space and to burn away our negative emotions (litterally!!).

  2. steve collins

    i love it [and, indeed, we’re using this at Grace tonight!!]

    but i find myself thinking [contrary as ever]: why do we assume that our wish for small manifestations of the spirit that don’t disturb our comforts is a sign of our complacency or laziness? could it be that we really don’t need to have our lives turned upside-down again, when we are trying to hold it together against all those other disruptive forces? please god, no big wind because my house is barely standing as it is. and if it’s a badly built house, could we take it down slowly?

    or is it a case of there being seasons for things, and much of the time it isn’t the season for earthquakes, wind and fire, or nothing would grow and nothing could rest.

    do we pay too much attention to those violent comings of the spirit [and take them as the normal activity] and underrate the quiet comings, in the seed, and the growing, and the evolution, and the morning tea?

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