Monday 18 August 2014

Lectionary poetry no more

This is a post I've been wanting to write for a month or so now, but I've not been wholly sure about it, yet at the weekend, at a Sunday gathering of the community I'm involved with, Restore (more on that later), while studying the Gospel of Mark we had a fantastic conversation about the timeliness of the leading of the Holy Spirit. The time to move on, to change the shape of ministry, to change the place of ministry and the time to lay some things down so that others might be picked up (or not...) At the same time I've been reading Fresh by Volland, Goodhew and Roberts and been reminded of the analogous situation contemporary culture and the church are in, with the early church context. Goodhew makes a great case for the role the Holy Spirit played in shaping the early church, and I feel that I need to heed that.

When I moved house I knew I wouldn't get a few weeks of my regular Lectionary poems written, but I'd always planned to catch up, then I checked, I had six poems to catch up with. This left me wondering, "why am I doing this?" I knew why I had been doing, I knew the reasons:

1. As a way to deal with being in a Lectionary based church, finding a way to grow, to be challenged and shaped by the cycle of readings my church community used.

2. To create something that i hoped would (at times) be a resource for those who engaged with project.

And while the second reason was still valid, the first had gone. And while I still want to resource my previous church community, that's not the appropriate thing to be focusing on. At Restore we are not currently based in the cycle of Lectionary readings, that may change, but it may not and I have no interest in pre-empting it.

One of the challenges with the Lectionary project was the amount of poetic energy, or creative focus it took each week. It was at times a burden, which quite heavily sapped my ability to write other pieces. Since giving up the Lectionary series I've written fifteen pieces for a long-standing collaborative project and that has been good. The pieces have reflected my thoughts about the journey this new community is taking, and the whole thing has been so helpful.

So, I am sorry, for those who have used the Lectionary poems, those who have found them helpful, they may well return, but I think its important to refocus and look afresh at what I'm doing. And if we don't allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our personal creativity before God, will be be prepared to hold our churches and communities before God and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance for them either...