Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 14th August 2022
Dear Friends, When I first came to Quakers I was struggling a bit to merge my idea of a personal god to whom one spoke (and hopefully also listened) with … Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 14th August 2022
When I first came to Quakers I was struggling a bit to merge my idea of a personal god to whom one spoke (and hopefully also listened) with the idea of light in which one could be bathed and through which one could see people and the whole world with loving eyes. Since then, I have come to realise that the divine is so hugely vast that none of us can grasp the whole, and we all catch different glimpses and hang on to different aspects of the divine.
George Fox had a lot to say about light, but he also said ‘what dost thou say?’ For a long time I would have had little to say, but one summer I was sitting by the River Ouse near TESCOs. It was a sleepy afternoon and I was staring vacantly at our rather muddy and polluted river. The tide was coming in quite fast and the sun was shining on the water which was also flowing through shady patches. In the sunlight little stars sparkled on the water, travelled a little upstream, and then disappeared. I imagine anyone observing the river only a few yards away from me will have seen different stars …
Early Quakers would have been well aware of the numerous instances of divine light which can be found in the Bible. The psalms, which made up the equivalent of a hymn book for Judaism at the time of Jesus, and are still in use today by Jews and Christians, include lovely phrases like: With thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light (Ps 36, v 9); Thy word is a lamp unto my feet: and a light unto my path (Ps 119, v105); or the famous messianic prophecy: ‘the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light’ (Isaiah 9, v 2). In the New Testament, the prologue to the Gospel of John describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth in this way – In him was life; and the life was the light of men (meaning mankind of course) – and indeed the Gospel of John is full of Jesus as life and light.
All best wishes and my love
Guest contributor on behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (Bob Harwood, David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Theresa Samms, Nancy Wall)