Category Archives: Borrowed Insights

Varieties of social greetings

Hand in hand (e.g. 2 Kings 10:15) The handshake has become a universal symbol of welcome, each using the right hand. Originally it showed that neither of them held any harmful weapon. The word sinister, Latin for left-hand side, now … Continue reading

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‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.’

So sang David, according to the King James Version of Psalm 25:14. God’s secrets are only disclosed to those who reverence him. ‘The secret and the sacred are sisters’, wrote John O’Donohue. Through Isaiah God warned those whose ‘fear of … Continue reading

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The mystery of the familiar

‘The eyes of the fool are [only] on the ends of the earth’ (Proverbs 17:24). ‘The awakening of the human spirit is a homecoming,’ John O’Donohue reckons in his book Solitude is Luminous. ‘Yet,’ he adds, ‘ironically, our sense of … Continue reading

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The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it (Psalm 24:1)

Psalm 24:1 God is the supreme artist whose handiwork surrounds us. Yet few people ever look for his signature in the corner of his paintings because he signs his authorship in tiny script. His name doesn’t even appear in the … Continue reading

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Religious fanatics – lost to God, yet loved by him (See Luke 15)

See Luke 15:1-32 Jesus was addressing specific categories of listeners when he told the story of the so-called Prodigal Son: Pharisees (religious extremists, in today’s vocabulary) and scribes (religious experts, who could write comments about the holy books and teach … Continue reading

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Oh the glory of your presence

A favourite CD track of mine is of a congregation singing in full-throated worship at adagio tempo led by Terry McAlmon in one of his contemplative songs: ‘Oh, the glory of your presence! We your temple give you reverence. So, … Continue reading

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‘Lord, I’m an open book to you’ (Psalm 139)

A teenaged believer once confided in me of her terror of spiritual agoraphobia. ‘I’m not afraid to die, but I’m scared of an eternity in which I could never die.’ Apparently oblivion was preferable to heaven! By contrast, David expressed … Continue reading

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The bee buzz and dove song of spiritual meditation

Flies, locusts and bees ‘Every meditation is a thought,’ wrote Francis de Sales some 500 years ago, ‘but not every thought is meditation.’ He compared three ways of thinking: [] daydreaming or simple musing he compared to flies visiting one … Continue reading

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