Monday, August 9, 2010

Praticising the Presence of God

This is a blog post long, long overdue. I've been meaning to write a post about two of our volunteers, Darryl and Jeff for sometime and you'll soon understand why.

We are grateful for all our hundred volunteers from different churches and the community, but we are particularly grateful for Darryl and Jeff who have been with us every Sunday for over two years. That's a long time! Each and every Sunday Darryl and Jeff arrive at 11:30am helping to prepare the food we receive from many places, helping organize the volunteers, serving the homeless, planning for the week ahead, and assuring that everything on the food side of the house runs smoothly. It's an endless, thankless task, and yet these two gentlemen perform a terrific job with dignity, grace and love. It's high time we say a great big "thanks" and "well done"!

Darryl and Jeff do an amazing job with both passion and excellence. In true humility they are committed to being "servants" and to work behind the scenes. Yet they are both responsible for ensuring that food is ready, properly prepared, served, and that there are enough supplies for the next week.

We could not perform this valuable ministry without their generosity of time, and commitment to hard work. They are both a blessing to our ministry, and a crucial part of the ministry. We are grateful for your many gifts. In true Celtic fashion, you welcome the stranger and make him and her feel like an important guest.

Thanks guys for all your hard work from the staff of St. Aidans!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Narnia Code: Revd. Michael Ward

Every year I receive an Alumnus Chronicle from the University of St. Andrews. These are always a great joy to read and give me the opportunity to think back as well as catch up with new events. This year I noted a fascinating sketch about the Rev. Michael Ward, a priest in the Church of England, who is also a Chaplain at St. Peter's College, Oxford. He did his PhD at St. Andrews on C.S. Lewis and is the author of Planet Narnia (2008) a book which is shaking the foundation of Lewis studies, and revolutionizing the way people understand the Narnia series. My own interest in Lewis begged me to ask for more, to contact Rev. Michael Ward, and write this article.

Ward claims to have discovered a secret code in Lewis's fictional series The Narnia Chronicles (1950-1956). In detective like fashion, Ward  believes he has unearthed the governing scheme behind the Chronicles. The discovery came when Ward was reading Lewis's The Discarded Image (1964), one of Lewis's finest academic books which describes the medieval cosmology and worldview. There Lewis discusses the medieval image of the seven heavens which contains the seven planets which revolve around the earth, and also influence the earth, including its people. These "planets" included the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

According to Ward, these "planets" are the backdrop to the Narnian world. Each book corresponds to one of the planets. This is a fascinating idea because this dimension adds another layer of depth to the books. Turns out the Chronciles are much more sophisticated then we ever thought.

How does this play out in the books themselves? Jupiter, the "King" of the planets is featured in The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe in Aslan. Mars, the planet of war, is central to Prince Caspian, where a civil war erputs. The Sun has a key role in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where the ship sails in the direction of the sun. The moon is central in The Silver Chair, and silver was believed to be the medal of the moon. And so on. We should not be surprized at all by this imagery and multi-layered quality to The Chronicles. Lewis was a medieval scholar and he was known to delight in keeping secrets. 

To learn more abot Rev. Ward, and find out more about his discoveries, you can visit his website which is linked here. There is also a fascinating clip on Youtube where Rev. Ward shares more about his discovers and can be viewed here.