Wednesday 11 July 2012 Articles

One of the lines in the psalms for the Office on Sunday caught my attention.:

There is the sea, vast and wide,
With its moving swarms past counting,
Living things great and small.
The ships are moving there
And the monsters you made to play with.”

We all carry around with us an image of God, made up of what God has revealed to us and what we have imposed on God from our own experience or prejudice. I wonder how many of us have as part of our image the God who plays with the monsters of the deep? The God-who-plays is here described in Scripture.

It reminded me of an interview I once heard with Eddie Izzard. He said didn’t believe in God because of the dinosaurs. What God could put up with the millions of years of eating and sleeping creatures? But the Bible tells us God is a God who plays with the monsters of the deep. Eddie Izzard might be a very funny comedian but he isn’t a man who’s imagination stretches to a God who delights in playing with monsters. Millions of years of gliding and soaring with the Pterosaurs or swimming with the ichthyosaurs. Millions of years of wandering with the stegosaurus or running with the Coelophysis, a vast playground.

The psalm goes on to say:

All of these look to you to give them their food in due season,
You give it they gather it up:
You open your hand, they have their fill.

This is psalm that talks about God’s delight in Creation and his abundant out-pouring of the gift of life. At the beginning of the Psalm it talks of God wrapping himself in light and wearing the waters as a coat. This is an intimate picture of the relationship between Creator and Creation. God wrapped up in creation, giving it life, playing at its heart. This is the God whose love always moves outwards, always gives, is always self-giving.

Yesterday I was re-reading some of Alexander Schmemeann’s “For the Life of the World”, a book I return to again and again. In the chapter on the Eucharist he says the art, beauty and music in liturgy are there because it is an act of love:

“When expecting someone whom we love, we put on a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it…not out of necessity but out of love. And the Church is love, expectation and joy. It is heaven on earth, according to…Orthodox tradition; it is the joy of recovered childhood, that free unconditional and disinterested joy, which alone is capable of transforming the world.”

He goes on to quote Romano Guardini who says of liturgy :

“It is in the highest sense the life of a child, in which everything is picture, melody and song. Such is the wonderful fact which the liturgy demonstrates: it unites act and reality in a supernatural childhood before God.”

A God who plays with the monsters of the deep and who wraps himself in the light and waters of creation, invites us into a ‘love, expectation and joy’ that is ‘supernatural childhood before God.’

Comments are closed
  • Clergy

    Fr Neil Chatfield
    Email using the form · 07718 123304 · SMS

    Fr Thomas Mason
    Email using the form · 01323 760048

    Postal address for the clergy
    PO Box 3223, Eastbourne BN21 9RS

  • RSS Today

  • Universalis:
    Church of England: Not available for this time of day

    Liturgy in a Time of Crisis · Video
  • Services and events this week

    January 2021

    Monday 18 January

    7:00 pm – 7:45 pm
    Streamed Mass

    Streamed on our Facebook page,

    Tuesday 19 January

    S Wulstan B
    7:30 am – 8:30 am
    Christ the King Church, Langney

    An Ordinariate Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form. Socially-distanced.

    Wednesday 20 January

    S Fabian PpM; S Sebastian M

    Thursday 21 January

    S Agnes VM
    7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    Christ the King Church, Langney

    A socially-distanced Mass.

    Friday 22 January

    S Vincent DnM

    Sunday 24 January

    Epiphany III
    4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    St Agnes' Church

    A socially-distanced Mass.

    Monday 25 January

    Conversion of S Paul Ap
    7:00 pm – 7:45 pm
    Streamed Mass

    Streamed on our Facebook page,

  • Login

  • Locations

    Tap the map for directions

    St Agnes Church, Whitley Road
    St Agnes, Whitley Road

    Christ the King Church, Princes Road, Langney
    Christ the King Langney

    Our Lady of Ransom Church, Grange Road
    Our Lady of Ransom Church

  • Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

    The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is a part of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales
    The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is a registered charity, number 1141536 | Safeguarding
    Content © Eastbourne Ordinariate Mission | Image OLW by Thorvaldsson | Powered by WordPress