Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.
‘She Who Inspires Vision’
A fellow runner advised me one time: "Keep your head up and your eyes looking ahead." She explained the importance of runners keeping their vision long. When runners get tired, they tend to drop their shoulders and look down at their feet, she said, which only makes them more tired. "Where you look is where you'll go." Out on the road, prescription sunglasses sliding down my nose, I am often reminded of this, and I think on her words in the light of lections from the Book of Acts, Revelation and John's Gospel. God be with you ...
Paul's vision is about Paul seeing further than his immediate surrounds/assumptions. His vision opens to new opportunities for ministry, new understanding of God's mission, and a new relationship/friendship -
John's vision in Revelation 21 -
The gates are open, the wealth is shared. The Earth and human labour harmonised. The holy city (without a temple) reveals the way the whole world works in the fullness of God's reign. John's vision, in other words, is not conservative. It is not backward-
The New Jerusalem comes as a gift, and yet involves us wholly. It is fitting and fortunate that we have today the promise of the fully Human One: "[T]he Holy Spirit whom Abba God will send in my name, will instruct you in everything and she will remind you of all that I told you."
One commentator writes: "[T]he Church still has a long future ahead of it. It cannot simply look back to the story of Jesus. It must live its own story under the direction of the Holy Spirit who will both remind the Church of its origins in the Word of God who is Jesus, and instruct it in new things which Jesus did not tell us" (Francis J. Moloney).
The Holy Spirit is imaged for us today as a guide, as a guiding force. Perhaps she is the ground of imagination itself -
I really love our St Lydia's Library. I love that it stands for growing in wisdom, for the Word of God who is Jesus, and for "new things" ... new knowledge, new ideas, new questions. Lydia, a saint in Orthodox, Catholic and Episcopalian traditions, was evidently a well-
The Orthodox Churches, which celebrate Easter today, have given St Lydia the title of "Equal to the Apostles", signifying her importance and holiness. Most Orthodox icons of St Lydia (and there are many) portray her wearing a purple shawl or veil.
Former Artist in Residence Jovana Terzic designed our St Lydia's Library emblem. I can imagine it in shades of purple. The design comprises a number of striking elements, most obviously the pelican, a symbol of Christ, which Lydia holds gently and close to her heart.
According to pre-
Perhaps, like me, you just like pelicans -
Groups of pelicans are known as pods, scoops or squadrons. Pelicans are ancient -
Pelican chicks communicate with their mothers while still in the egg. They can communicate as to whether they are too hot or too cold. They also listen to their parents from the egg -
Today the children are imagining Jesus and the Gospel -