Marcus Borg, The heart of Christianity, Thin Places.
A Few rambling thoughts and summary again on this book...
::The heart had a lot more metaphorical meaning when the bible was written than it has today. "The heart is an image for the self at a deep level, deeper than our perception, intellect, emotion and volition."
::The Closed heart ==> A human condition where the person hardens themselves, separate us and them.
:: Thin Places ==> Comes from Celtic Christianity, "...this way of thinking sees God, "The more", as the encompassing Spirit in which everything is. God is not somewhere else but "right here.". Thin places are where we actually see God ; We experience God in the world around us. (I really like this, a very strong resonance)
- Can be geographical, Borg mentions the island of Iona. (mine would probably be Wilson's promontory.)
- Arts, including music, poetry etc
- Serious illness, suffering and grief can become thin places (I've experienced this in palliative care)
- People can be thin places. Some people we can feel the presence of the Spirit upon them.
Thin Places and Christian practices
Worship in during Church is primarily a ' A thin place'. I liked Borg's answer to God requiring our 'worship'.
"I recall hearing a radio preacher talking about how "God just loves to be praised." He made God sound like a narcissist. Rather, worship has the power to draw us out of ourselves. Worshop is directed to God, but is in an important sence for us"
Other parts of a Church service which can be a thin place include
- baptism and the Eucharist
- The bible
- liturgical words (lords prayer is a great example)
The open heart
"The Christian life is about opening our heart to the Thin places". I say "amen" to that.
This was one of my favourite chapters. It explains why I want to seek God out. How the "thin places" give me a sence of peace. One of the blurbs on my blog is "looking for signs of beauty and redemption in the here and now". It is in many ways a prayer for the "Thin places".