Friday, April 20, 2007

Mhairi is a local girl

I spent Monday afternoon this week with a group of students from the Oxford Centre of Youth Ministry. I'd been asked by OCYM to give a session on the Celtic Christian tradition. See the pic of us on South Park where we created an act of worship drawing on the tradition. mayBe is not a self-consciously Celtic community, but many of the emphases of the tradition [as much as we can know anything about it] can be seen in our life. I've been doing some research in Carmina Gadelica recently - the amazing volume of prayers, blessings and incantations collected in the Highland and Islands of Scotland in the mid to late 19th Century by one Alexander Carmichael. He realised that a vital tradition which had been passed down orally through the generations - possibly from as far back as Columba and his contemporaries - was on the verge of being lost, and set about collecting the evidence before it disappeared. One of the things that I found there is the sense that the saints and angels, the heroes of scripture, and even Jesus himself are very close. They are amongst us. They are earthy, local, and friends. Mhairi is a local girl who milks the cows. I like this. It makes our calling to follow in their footsteps somehow more possible, more practical, more vital. We can be saints too...

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