Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Holy Cross Day


Matthew 27:55-56

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

The creaking of wood

The flapping of cloth in the breeze

And a deathly silence

hung like a pall

Spectacle over,

the crowd dispersed

Except for the women

who waited

They had accompanied him all the way

and would not abandon him now

They stayed with the pain

and the brutality

with the grief

and the barbarity

They refused to look away

They stayed

and glimpsed evil

overcome by love

in the cross of Christ.

They stayed

and bore witness

to the promise 

of Resurrection 

Saturday, 4 September 2021

It takes a woman


Mark 7:27-30

He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.


It takes a woman

It takes a woman

to cut through the BS

of inheritance

and tradition

of entitlement

and assumption

It takes a woman

to speak truth to power

to say it like it is

It takes a woman

to call out

the dangerous naivety 

of blindly following

the notions of the past

It takes a woman

to expand our horizons

and lead us boldly

into a courageous future

defined by compassion

that offers more

than crumbs from the table

of the privileged 

to the forgotten

and overlooked

and undermined

and those deemed less than

in every age

It takes a woman. 

Sunday, 25 July 2021

The left overs

 John 6:11-12

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”

Gather up the fragments

The lost

The discarded

The overlooked

The unseen

The hidden

The different

The other

For all matter

None are invisible

or extraneous

in the economy of God

And each contains

a divine spark

that we are called

to kindle

and fan into flame

feeding body, mind and spirit

shaking off the dirt and grime

that has accumulated

through life overlooked

and disregarded

See through the dust

the starlight 

that pulses and glows

Release the beauty

deep within

Step into God’s kingdom

of justice and abundance.

Gathering up the fragments

so that nothing may be lost.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Smudging the lines


On the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene  July 22nd

John 20:15-18

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Mary Magdalene- 

said to be a sinner

by the keepers of tradition

and authors of history 

who didn’t know what to do

with a woman who refused to conform

who didn’t fit their neat and tidy boxes

but spilled out

smudging the lines

so carefully drawn

to curtail and contain.

Mary Magdalene -

said to be demon possessed

by a narrow minded community

that couldn’t accommodate

her passion and spontaneity,

her love expressed in full view

that threatened to disrupt

prescribed teaching and ritual

Mary Magdalene - a woman



Like every woman 

who dares to rock the boat

and refuses to fit the mould 

prescribed by the patriarchy

in every age.

Thankfully, God confounds the rule makers

by choosing misfits and mystics

to be prophets 

and witnesses to resurrection.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Called to be…

 The gospel for my first celebration of the Eucharist as a priest

Mark 6:4

Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”

After the high of ordination

the ceremony and the celebration

the reality of priesthood hits home

called to be a prophet

among those who know us

a prophet without honour

Called to break bread at the altar

and in the neighbourhood

and to be broken and shared

in serving the one

who told a good story

who burst many a pompous bubble

who lived on the edge

in the gap between heaven and earth

who wreaked all kinds of mischief

with a twinkle in his eye

Called to be

priest, prophet and mischievous mystic

Give thanks to the Lord for this glorious gospel!

Saturday, 3 July 2021

My Lord and my God

 Today is the Feast of St Thomas - and I will be ordained a priest in the Scottish Episcopal  Church

 - Messages from colleagues and friends have inspired this prayer for this day:

John 20:24-28

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Handling the body of Christ

The feast of St Thomas

an auspicious day for ordination

Thomas - forever dubbed the doubter

I want to embrace the insight

of an apostle who was so much more

The twin who spoke up

brave enough to own what he was thinking

and, by his honesty

got to touch the body of Christ

to feel the marks

and caress the wounds

I pray that

as I follow that calling

I, too, will continue to question

and make space for others’ voices

to be heard

And, as I handle the wounded flesh of Christ

at the altar

and in the world 

may I be able to say

with awe and reverence

My Lord and my God

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Wooing God

(This post was written for RevGalBlogPals weekly e-reader:)

In around 10 days time, I’ll be ordained as a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
It feels like the consummation of a love affair I have been caught up in for the last 6 years.
Finding myself without a church to call home, I visited the local Episcopal church with the intention of taking time to rest while I looked at the worshiping community options available in my new locality.
Four years later, I was discerning a call to transfer orders from the denomination in which I had been ordained for over 25 years.
It’s been a journey – a journey that has involved body, mind and soul.
A journey in which I have re-discovered a playful God who messes with all our senses – not just our heads.
I have become a liturgy geek, passionate about beautiful words that declare our faith and close the gap between heaven and earth and I’ve loved learning the history of the Scottish Episcopalians who always seemed to be at the forefront of championing the underdog and protesting against parliamentary high handedness and who wrote their prayer books steeped in independent notions that nonetheless captured ancient practices and scholarship.
As I left a pastoral charge 6 years ago, to accompany ministers and congregations through cultural change in a process of discernment and renewal, the last thing I imagined was my own journey of discernment or the renewal of a vocation.
And I am reminded that authenticity consists in practising what we preach or teach.
I look forward to new adventures with the God who calls each of us beloved and invites us to join in a rhythm that is both ancient and new every morning.

Wooing God, may we follow wherever you lead, knowing that every blind alley leads us to you and every open trail reveals more of you and your place and purpose for us and for all of creation.

Liz Crumlish

Liz Crumlish is a (soon to be) priest in the Scottish, Episcopal Church and a practitioner and educator in Cross Professional Supervision.
She has just co-authored Pastoral Supervision: Creativity in Action with her colleague, Michael Paterson

She also contributed to There's a Woman in the Pulpit, with other RevGalBlogPals 
and blogs regularly, here at www.liz-vicarofdibley.blogspot.com

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