Saturday, July 13, 2013

Heavenly meanings

Hereford Cathedral West Window
Back from a delightful few days in Shropshire staying at the excellent Lion at Leintwardine to see C's family.  It was ruined in the floods of 2009 and renovated by an enterprising local farmer who also does Radnor Hills mineral waters and soft drinks.  Very enjoyable country walks and runs and a thoroughly relaxing few days.  On the way back we went to Hereford Cathedral to look at Mappa Mundi - interesting that it shows China pretty much on top of the world

We'd had a Life Group on Monday evening where I was leading the study of the 23rd Psalm.  There is so much packed into the Psalms and they are the most quoted book in the Bible. Of course, like all scripture, they have to be read in the light of Christ - St Benedict gives my favourite example when he explains that the otherwise horrible verses in Psalm 137:8-9 refer to dealing with your sins, not killing human babies.

It's really salient that the Psalms are poetry, and the correct response to the variants in translation (eg Darkest Valley/Valley of the shadow of death) is "all of the above". Indeed when one of the group described a parable in the normal way as "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning" I took the liberty of saying that was wrong - it is an earthly story with heavenly meanings.

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