Saturday, 11 June 2022

Non-binary God

Before the world began

God enjoyed the chaos

And in the midst of that chaos 

God played around 

with light and dark

and earth and water

and sky and moon and stars

Loving the world into being

Breathing life into creatures

Bringing all together in a wonderful cacophony

of light and sound and music and silence

God moved through this spectrum

blending palettes, creating harmony

in an amazing spectrum

that reflects God’s very being

And still God

creator, redeemer and sustainer

smudges out the lines we draw

queers our binaries

breathes new life in the spirit

and invites us

to be Co-creators

in the glorious technicolour

that is the foundation of the earth

breathed into life by God 

who is light and life and love.

A Trinity defying definition

celebrating difference

realised in love.

(Liz Crumlish Trinity Sunday 2022)

Friday, 3 June 2022

Rainbow Spirit

 John 16:4

But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

Jesus’ discourse - 

Feels a bit like he was cramming it all in

Making sure the unsaid is said

Filling in the blanks

Future-proofing the message

Last minute nerves?

Good try, Jesus, good try.

So much of faith has to be lived, not imagined.

How often do some things

only make sense in retrospect?

In the midst of the turmoil the spirit provokes

it’s hard to find the centre,

the still point of perspective

So, rather than resist

and risk losing out on the experience,

how about we surrender caution,

go along for the ride,

experience the turbulence

and trust the buoyancy of the Spirit

to bear us up and keep us afloat?

When our feet touch the ground

there will be plenty of time for sense-making

and space to reflect on the learning 

perhaps even time for navel gazing

about the meaning of faith.

In the meantime…

Let’s surrender

to the unpredictable Spirit of God

who blows where she will

conjuring up all kinds of happenings

that don’t exist even in our dreams

or wildest imaginings

And lose ourselves in the swirling rainbow hues

that emerge in the midst of the rain

Sometimes only a fleeting glimpse-

that signals God at work

in the life of the world today.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

The meeting


Luke 1:39-45

Mary Visits Elizabeth

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Two women





Carrying within them

Renewal for all the world

Between them

Birthing redemption for all people

Two women

Bearing power in all humility

Each recognising in the other

that in their wombs they nurtured

the hopes of generations

and the promise of God.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Have we got this? Ascension 2022


Luke 24:50-52

The Ascension of Jesus

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;

Do you still think it was a good idea?

To pass the baton on to us?

Not sure, Lord, that that was one of your better plans

Sure - You did all you could

Preaching, teaching, showing us the way

You couldn’t have made it any clearer 

Or put it any simpler - Love one another

And, You promised

To be always with us

And sent us your Spirit

So how can we get it so wrong?

How can we surround ourselves

with guns and war

with poverty and injustice

with hatred and indifference?

What possessed you to imagine

that we’d be up to the task?

How long, O Lord?

May our creeds and confessions

And all our holy mumble jumble

be torn asunder

Forcing us out of our sanctuaries

and onto the streets

where humanity is broken 

May we make it simple

and keep it simple

By loving one another.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Unless I see…

 John 20:24-25

Jesus and Thomas

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.”

Where were you Thomas?

Were you the one elected to pick up supplies?

Or did you slip out, unobserved, 

to try and catch the word on the street

to gauge whether it was safe to come out?

Or did you just need to get out of there for a while

Away from the noise

And the recriminations

The what-ifs and the should-haves

Away from the aural processors

To be alone with your grief and loss and regret

Alone with your dashed hopes

and self recrimination

You were right to doubt the story that greeted you on your return

You were right to assert your need 

to see your risen Lord

to touch his wounded flesh

After all that had happened 

you needed to see for yourself

There was no space in your grief for hope

You couldn’t afford to be that hurt again

No more living on second hand stories

No more metaphor and mystery

This was a time, if ever there was

for raw, messy, vulnerable reality

Nothing less would do.

I’m glad you doubted, Thomas

Glad, too, that you got your moment

to touch that wounded flesh

and to meet your risen Lord 

To see and believe 

To be able to proclaim

MY Lord and MY God.

May I be as honest in my doubting

As clear about my need

And know transformation in the wounds of Christ today.

(Liz Crumlish 2022)

Friday, 22 April 2022

St Brigid and beer

Well of Eternal Youth, Dun I, Iona

As I dip my hand in the well of eternal youth

and splash the cooling water on my face

my prayer is not for youthfulness

but for wisdom

for peace

and for laughter

For the spirit of Brigid

who, legend has it,

blessed this well

That same Brigid

who turned water into beer

who prayed for an end to suffering 

Who cared for children

who welcomed women

I pray for her humour that disarmed

so much of the patriarchy around her

I pray for some of her indefatigable spirit

that brings newness every day

and is filled with compassion

and tenderness 

for all of creation

And, this I know - there is always room for more beer

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Preparing for Retreat

Luke 24:13-15

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them

I’m on Iona, taking a few days to prepare for a retreat I’m leading at Bishops House next week. On Saturday, 23 women clergy, from UK, Ireland, USA and Canada will gather to share our stories and discern anew our calling to serve in all the many ways that we live out our vocations.

As my Facebook timeline fills

with stories of journeys

of stopping places

of encounters - planned and unplanned

My prayer time fills

with thoughts of those enroute

Those filled with anticipation

Those filled with wonder

Those unsure what to expect

Those who have left room

in all their careful packing

for the unexpected

Those who journey in hope

Those whose step is weary

Those who tread lightly

Those who welcome it all, whatever it may be

Seeing the risen Christ

matching his step with ours

Planting one foot in front of the other

Or skipping alongside joyfully

Carefully waiting when we lag behind

Placing his wounded hand on our shoulder

the touch of vulnerability that releases our authenticity

In all the unknowns and possibilities

In all the curiosity, this I know

The Emmaus Christ remains with us

Coorying in beside us as we share our stories

Helping us make sense of all that has happened

Making himself known as we break bread together

And sending us on our way to continue to proclaim

The Lord is Risen

He is Risen indeed


Liz Crumlish April 2022 

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