Tuesday 5 May 2009

Landscapes of Grace: shaped by God's mission

disher force wensleydale Situated below Ivy Scar near Woodhall, Disher Force shows well some of the geomorphological consequences of glaciation in Upper Wensleydale.  The 90 degree change in the direction of flow is particularly obvious, as is the sculpting of the immediate landscape. To a very great extent the present form of the drainage basin is determined by the power of ice, which is now nowhere to be seen, the last vestiges having disappeared some 10,000 years ago.

Lives, ideas and activities shaped by God should be equally clear and distinctive. Even though the shaping force is not visible, its presence and power should be readily apparent, its effects obvious right across the varied landscapes of humanity.

If we look, we should be able to see God shaping the world right in front of our eyes.

And if not, does this mean that we are more resistant than the hardest granite? Unlike glaciation, God does not impose the shaping power of loving intention, God invites us to participate in God's mission. The degree to which our contemporary landscapes of living will be reshaped is down to our personal and collective response to the grace which gives us a choice.


  1. It is good to see you back!

    Over 20 years ago now, I went to a lrage charismatic baptist church. I can still remember the pastor saying 'does your life demand a supernatural explanation?'

    I may not use that language in that way much, but the force of that question still makes me uncomfortable.

  2. Hi Graham, thanks for commenting. It is a troubling question isn't it, and one which I think is well worth asking, whatever language we care to wrap it up in.