Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

September 2022: On The Threshold

Grace September 2022 On The Threshold flyer

The September Grace was based around the poem 'See the lines' by David Benjamin Blower.

Order of service

Setup

Threshold line in middle of space with past written one side and future the other. Ethos words create, risk, engage, participate on the line. One candle in centre. On the future side have table with bread and wine. OS map cut up into small pieces, laid next to candle, for Maps section. Card and scissors and pens for the Shapes section.

Slideshow for the service here

Intro

September as a time of rededication, introduce David Benjamin Blower’s poem ’See the lines’.

Opening prayer

Play track (Horizons by LTJ Bukem), light candle
Words: 'Entre' from 'See the lines'

Still yourself, Dear One, and find yourself, here
at the threshold of All Things
This is exactly where you are, and where I am,
I promise
We cannot be anywhere else
At the doorway that leaves the past
and enters the future
And right now, you enter
And again, right now
And again
And again
Always

This is the messianic moment
We step into a realm of possibility, apocalypse
and redemption

Maps

Read extract of 'Maps' section of poem. Take a piece of map and a pen. Think what to let go of, write on piece of map. Drop maps around candle. Play track 'Letting Go' by Nitin Sawney

Pore over the maps by candlelight
Spread them out over the rolling ground
Fold them and carry them and open them and
flatten them out with your flattened palms
Squint in the dark
Study hard
Not to plot where we’re going
You have no idea where we’re going
But to trace out how we got to where we are,
at this threshold of wonder and loss
Who drew these lines and made these folds?

See the crease lines that run across the lines
that are drawn across the ancient lines that
were slowly formed
And know that it is not the earth you are
seeing, but a creation of the imagination
loaded with its own interests and wants and conceits
A tool
A worldview
A belief system
A finger marked thing of beauty and truth and treacherous fiction
Look at what was added and included and excluded and distorted

See the lines
They don’t tell us where we are but how we
became who we became
What we wanted and desired
What we saw and to what were we unseeing

And now, here we are on the threshold of All Things
Put the map down
It is an image of a world, but not the earth
It is not what it is, but what we wanted
You cannot bring it across the threshold
The gateway moves away from you every time you try

Gold earring

Read Exodus 21:1-6
Earring - sign of being a slave to Christ
Turn to Christ and to the way of Christ

Take your shoes off

Quiet track plus silence
Play track (Hush? Or I?)

"no map your one gold ear ring and no shoes on your feet”

Ethos confession and Doors liturgy

Cross the threshold

Table and shapes

Read Tables section of poem. Sit round the table with bread and wine. Invite people to write or reflect on shapes for the future and make a shape - cut something out.

Gather round old tables with wine and share
your visions and make your proposals
Make wise proposals
Make foolish proposals
The old tables have heard so many foolish proposals
You will never surprise them

Take the visions and dreams out of your heads and into shared holding
No one person carries the whole vision
And even together we fail and we fail marvellously
The Everlasting Arms catch what honestly falls
Or they don’t
But there is no other way to really live, but to step out in the faith that they will anyway

Find new shapes together
And spend yourselves bravely in the shared adventure
It will cost more to hold back
And there will be no new shapes apart from the shared endeavour

There is a new shape wanting to be found
Or even, many new shapes
They are finding us
New creaselines folding along and across the old
New futures being formed from the shapes of the past

Make a shape
Make another
Try another one and take its consequences
And another; receive its gifts
Be small
Be foolish
Make
Fail
Apologise
Stand
Be brave
Be a good friend
Sketch them in forms and virtues
In new arrangements and materials
In words and exchanges
In ringing arguments and loving songs
Let the new shapes abound

Prayers round table

We hang our lives on your mercy

Eschaton

Final section of 'See the lines'

On the threshold
The doorway of the present
Departing from the past
Entering the future
Right now you go to enter
You breathe and lift your foot
Right now
And again, right now
And again
And again
Now is the messianic moment in which we may enter the realm of possibility
The realm of redemption
This is sacred
This is holy ground
Take off your shoes as you enter

And enter knowingly, and purposefully
Here is holiness
See the burning trees that do not burn
See the abandoned towers
Hear the un-numbered languages
Hear God’s voice in the languageless infant
hear Wisdom amidst her creaking trees
See the burned out chariots and spears
And the rewilded horses
Hear the songs indigenous and smell the heady herbs
And be held in the gaze of ancient indigeneity,
which looks mercifully upon your power as your self-defeating conceit
And then at you

You are seen
You
With no map
Your one golden earring
And no shoes on your feet

Play track (We are all made of stars?)

Cafe

Continue at the table - bring cake, cheese.

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