Had a great time at Glendalough, the Celtic monastic site made famous by St Kevin. Its an amazing place and I really enjoyed a prayerful, nostalgic walk about the monastery grounds. Really peaceful and full of history. You can imagine what it felt like to arrive at the monastic city after a long pilgrimage or being a fugitive on the run and finding refuge here.
We worked on drawing a Celtic knot just as the Scribes did. I know it sounds terribly arrogant for a Kiwi to be teaching celtic knotwork in Ireland but actually much of the knotwork was from my ancestors, the Picts. We looked into the symbolism of the Celtic knot and what it said about Trinity, movement, borders, etc and then explored some thoughts on pilgrimage. Brad and the Journey blog have some images and thoughts.
After that we opened up Luke 10 to see Jesus idea of pilgrimage/ministry for his mission team and how that compared or contrasted with ours. Sometimes it was a grinding contrast which is not always fun or ear tickling as much as motivational pep talks or intellectual oratories but very necessary as we align what we are doing with the mission of God.
Its a whole new Ireland – Dublin is dynamic, increasingly wealthy and no longer poor and oppressed. Their spirituality, which has been born and nurtured on the margins, will now have to look at justice and generosity from the other side. Transformation will be connected to economics as well as morality. This will be a challenge but there are some good people in Ireland and God is not finished with it yet.
Thanks to the Nyquist family for hosting me and letting me loose on your BBQ, for Cormac’s friendship and gift of Celtic music (thanks for the CD’s) and the Kingsley clan for being cool. Nice to meet Frank also, and everyone else. Even the Americans! And everyone else that turned up and helped this whole learning process.