This series of Morning Bell is working with a well-known passage from Ecclesiastes, one of the wisdom books of the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian Old Testament. The writer of Ecclesiastes (‘the Teacher’ – probably writing in the 3rd century BC) ponders the absurdity and the goodness of life. Ecclesiastes can seem care-worn, even cynical: ‘All is vanity’. ‘All things are wearisome’ and ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. But it is full also of possibility: ‘Light is sweet’. ‘Banish anxiety from your mind’ and ‘remember your creator.’ It is a book, we sense, for our demanding times, and one to which Morning bell will return.
For us, each line is as much a question as it is a proclamation. And the book is both deeply personal and absolutely communal. For you and for me. And for the world. It asks us – how do you want things to be? And how will you play your part in the shaping of a better world now?
The images for the series were all taken on Iona by Ian, most of them this past summer on the Beloved Life ‘Unfurling’ week with the Iona Community. We invite you to join us in spending time each day in the company of Ecclesiastes, and in the setting of Iona, a place that invites both big questions and deep faith. In stillness and prayer may we discover a renewed sense of hope for ourselves and for the world.
Grace and peace to you
Ian & Gail
There are various other ways to access Morning Bell each day:
Ian’s latest collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.