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Audio November 18, 2014 Exodus 21-24; 31-35 by Nancy Baird
“The root of religion is what to do with the feeling for the mystery of living, what to do with awe, wonder, and amazement. Religion begins with a consciousness that something is asked of us.” from Robert K. Greenleaf, Servant Leadership.
“What if all the ancient, recurring myths of the human race, all the yearnings of prophets and sages for the touch of God, for a visit from God, were not just the lies of poets, but the hints and rumors of another world? In this account our deepest, unsatisfied desires for joy, meaning and homecoming are not cruel jokes of nature. They are meant for fulfillment. What we desire most, said Lewis, is “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
…And when we discover our true citizenship, [Lewis] says, it comes with a “happiness…so great that it even weakens me like a wound.”” from Michael Gerson, (quoting C. S. Lewis,) Deseret News, November 22, 2013, A13.
“In a field outside of Newburg, Scotland, the remains of the Cross Macduff stand on the Ochil Hills. This Celtic cross once marked the northwest boundary of the ancient “kingdom” of Fife, clan home of Macduff, thane of Fife. The cross was a “girth,” a sanctuary, or place of refuge from trouble, ordained and protected by charter of the king of Scotland…Anyone related to Macduff to the ninth degree could flee here to receive refuge from the law if they had been found guilty of unpremeditated slaughter. Only the base of this ancient cross remains, but it is enough; one can see how it would have risen on its high hill, majestic, stark, its carved face looking east…” from Nancy Baird, “The World at Its Gravest and Best,” BYU Studies, Vol. 39, Number 3, 2000, 105.
In the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus, the author talks about the artisans and craftsmen of a community: Ecclesiasticus 38:32-34 (Speaking of craftsmen and artists). “Without them a city would have no inhabitants. No settlers or travelers would come to it. Yet they are not in demand…But they maintain the fabric of this world; And in the handiwork of their craft is their prayer.” (Revised Version and New English version, p. 150).
“It is said that the composer Haydn, on hearing the first public performance of his work, “The Creation,” rose in his seat at the great choral refrain, “And there was light,” and cried out, “I never wrote that; that came from God.” Personal files of Nancy Baird.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Martin Buber, The Legend of the Baal-Shem, 1995 edition, 36.