she who takes on the world…

Image: Banksy, ‘Balloon Girl’, painted on the segregation wall in Palestine

we were talking today about what we’d do for worship for pentecost (if we were holding worship then, which we’re not!)…

it all came from a conversation about cyclones, and how we’re only comfortable with the “winds of the spirit” being gentle, wafting breezes, and how natural metaphors for God move into dangerous waters (no pun intended) whenever there’s a natural disaster… and then how we domesticate God and the Spirit by using pentecost sermon illustrations of gentle flickering candles, fans and even (bizarrely) vaccuum cleaners.

sure, the spirit creates order out of chaos (bringing peace and hope)… but just as surely, she also creates chaos out of order (bringing down systems and structures that oppress, deny community, damage humanity, etc.)

so… today’s pentecost idea was to create symbolic installations about the systems that oppress within our world – corrupt governments, systemic injustice, corporate greed, etc. etc. Make them big (refrigerator box size) and solid.

and then create chaos out of them… destroy them with a sledge hammer, or by kicking down the bricks, or setting fire to them (i quite like that idea but do it outside).

no rebuilding (though if you were doing worship over a number of weeks, you could rebuild over that period of time… prayers for others)… just celebrating the work of the spirit creating chaos…


  1. craig mitchell

    great, i just need a spark like this to get my mind running. the bansky pic was the first “a ha”. i can run with that for pentecost. and then a spirit that is a bulldozer/sledgehammer.

    very fine. very deconstructionist.

    I think i’ll use bricks and hammer. smash some bricks of faith.

    you’ve got me thinking about the link between symbolism and action. easy to hit bricks with hammers. would we take the same hammers and hit the office windows of the politicians who are seeking to dehumanise refugees?

    I’m sorry I asked that. now it’s going to make me think about real hammers and real windows and real justice.

    i’m going to go and play Billy Bragg’s cover of “If i Had a Hammer” now.

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