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Friday, 22 July 2016

Light in Clay Jars

Here is my reflection for this week's Parish newsletter at St Martin-in-the-Fields:

The marvellous Parish Away Day, that many of us enjoyed recently, provided an opportunity to make porcelain lanterns as a meditative art activity. Our hope is that, at a later stage, these lanterns will be lit as part of an art installation providing an image of church as God intends it to be.

Porcelain, like all clay, is malleable when wet and able to be moulded and shaped but, once formed and fired, is firm but fragile at one and the same time. Porcelain, however, unlike most other clays, is also translucent meaning that light can be seen through it. All these aspects of porcelain are factors in verses found in 2 Corinthians 4 which says that ‘God … has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ and that ‘we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.’

These verses picture us as fragile clay or porcelain containers. We all, as individuals, have the light of Christ within which can be seen by others as a result of our fragile nature; either the lines of stress in our lives or the thinness of our skin. When we come together as fragile individuals glowing with the light of Christ in and through our fallibilities, we are the Church as it is intended to be.

It is our hope that we can at some time sign this to others by exhibiting our porcelain lanterns on a linked basis, with the links being a network of lights inside the lanterns. Thank you for helping begin to make that vision a reality and for reflecting on this church as a mixture of fragile clay and divine light.


Michael Kiwanuka - One More Night.

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