About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


The solidarity of living

I love occasional open-air worship services. In my homeland (the Czech Republic) we would gather for worship in places significant for Reformation history. My previous upstate church had a tradition of an annual open air worship followed by a picnic and barbecue. I even find grave-side funerals deeply meaningful. At Rutgers we celebrate St. Francis with the blessing of the animals in Riverside Park (weather permitting). When I travel, I like to visit open air places of worship; the Heiaus of Hawaii are excellent examples of such open air temples.
    In all these different open-air situations and settings, religion is still very much integrated with the rest of nature. Faith is not torn out from the rest of life, extricated, isolated, completely enclosed in man-made structures, pushed to an anthropocentric preoccupation with only human motions and emotions. 
   In the open air, a blade of grass is waving in a breeze, a lonely ant is wandering across a sand path, even an occasional rain shower, a buzzing fly or whizzing mosquito all belong to this picture just like the chirping birds in the trees. In such a setting,  nature is unavoidably a part of religious experience and religion is inevitably integrated into the broad diversity of life. Such a setting undermines all artificial pomposity and religious hubris and indirectly, yet unavoidably, reminds us that we cannot extricate ourselves from nature, even in the midst of our most sublime religious aspirations, we belong among all other creatures.
    I acknowledge that all this might sound very “new-agey”, if it was not as old and as elemental as the deepest roots of our faith! This Sunday we will not worship outside (unfortunately), yet the biblical readings (Gospel and Psalm) will bring to our worship rowdy sparrows as well as swift swallows, reminding us of ancient yet still vitally important layers of our faith. This biblical ornithology will lead us deep into pre-Jerusalem worship and invite us back into the universal solidarity of living.
No matter how urbanized we might become, we cannot separate ourselves and our faith from nature.

And here comes contemporary translation of Psalm 84:1-5

    For the band leader,
    in the Louisiana style,
    a song for the Shaved Boys. 

How special is your residence, O Lord of Hosts!
My soul longs and faints for your courts,
my heart and my body celebrate the God of life.

    Even sparrows find their home
    and swallows build their nests
    to bring up their broods around your altars.

O Lord of Hosts, My King and my God,
how blessed they are to dwell in your house,
their chirping can praise you all day long.

I acknowledge that Atlantic Puffin isn't particularly "biblical" creature but we are to seek hope in the universal solidarity of living. And besides, it is a lovely colourful bird and further I took this picture in Vestmannaeyjar (Iceland) and thus I own the (c).

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