Glimpses of Glory - The Methodist Church of Great Britain

Glimpses of
...the Word was God
In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was
God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into
being. What has come into being in him
was life, and the life was the light of all
...the Word was God
And the Word became flesh and lived
among us, and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father’s only son, full
of grace and truth.
John 1:1-4, 14 (NRSV)
On Barkerend Road
It was my first appointment as a Methodist
minister and I was sent to Bradford from rural
Dorset. I often walked or drove down
Barkerend Road towards the city centre. I
went into schools, I visited homes. In the
funeral director's chapel I took my first funeral
service. The Boys' Brigade met in a school on
that road and it was a route to local hospitals.
On Barkerend Road
An ordinary Bradford road, a city road - not at
all like rural Dorset. I had often glimpsed God
in the countryside, the incarnate word spoke
loudly there for me. But in the city? In
Bradford? Would I find God there or would I
have to chase God out in the dales?
On Barkerend Road
One overcast day, stationary at a red traffic
light on the Barkerend Road, I looked into the
bowl of the city centre. Suddenly rays of
sunlight cut through the clouds and bathed
Bradford in a silvery sheen just as the first
chords of “Shine, Jesus, shine” filled the car.
On Barkerend Road
No need to chase God;
God was there,
on the Barkerend Road.
Ruth M Gee
...he knows what is best for me
As a blind person, I glimpse God’s
glory as he demonstrates his love
and shows me that he knows what is
best for me. I ask God for help on my
journeys, and strangers offer to walk
along with me, help me across roads,
steer me round unexpected
obstacles in my path.
...he knows what is best for me
One night I was very ill in hospital
and could not let friends know
about it. Next day I discovered
that God had led someone to pray
for me through the night without
knowing my situation.
...he knows what is best for me
I had planned to be a physiotherapist,
but could not finish the training.
Shortly after resigning from the
course, the Methodist Church offered
me a position in their typing pool, and
three months later I became a
Christian, which completely
changed my life.
...he knows what is best for me
God of glory,
thank you for your perfect
wisdom, love and care for us.
Jan Deakin
...deep within the heart of God
God is Love: and he, enfolding
all the world in one embrace,
with unfailing grasp is holding
every child of every race.
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow's iron rod,
then they find that self same aching
deep within the heart of God.
Timothy Rees (1874-1939)
Singing the Faith 103 verse 2
...deep within the heart of God
The heavens are telling the
glory of God; and the firmament
proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1 (NRSV)
To you, O God, be the glory
Generous God,
For the glimpses of your glory
that surround us,
in the wonder and complexity of
the creation,
in the uniqueness of each person,
In the creativity and growth of
human knowledge,
we thank you.
To you, O God, be the glory
May your Church in its worship
and its life,
build upon your glory, seen
amongst us, day by day.
And become a vehicle for light,
life and love
in the communities we serve, in
your name.
To you, O God, be the glory
To you, O God, be the glory of
our life together.
Peter Whittaker
Reflection on John 1:14
‘…the Word became flesh and lived
among us…’
Reflection on John 1:14
The Word that summoned stars,
Shaped black holes
Uttered quarks
Wove DNA
Can’t be as we are –
A baby with no words
A toddler with a hundred
A child gathering thousands
An adult with too many, yet never enough.
Reflection on John 1:14
But shepherds knew,
And Eastern astrologers
And old Simeon
And holy Anna in her eighties –
The impossible possibility,
‘our God contracted to a span’.
Reflection on John 1:14
Among us
Breathing our air,
Warmed by our sun
Laughing, hurting, ageing.
Reflection on John 1:14
Among us,
Walking beside us
A Word heard amongst all our words,
A loaf torn amongst all our bread
Wine poured amongst all our conviviality –
Reflection on John 1:14
And no sooner heard, or glimpsed,
But beckoning, then vanishing.
Here - and there,
Among us.
‘…and we have seen his
David Cornick
A glimpse of his face
Meeting his eyes,
in the foot-darkened
Features of love,
rippled by grime;
a glimpse of his face.
A glimpse of his face
In the eyes of a child,
waiting expectantly,
yearning for bread,
hungry for love;
a glimpse of his face.
A glimpse of his face
In the laughter of
the warmth of a smile,
the sharing of tears,
the comforting touch;
a glimpse of his face.
A glimpse of his face
In the depths of
at the heart of the pain,
in the solitary silence,
in the fear of the end;
a glimpse of his face.
A glimpse of his face
The Word become
abiding, indwelling,
Servant and Saviour.
Find at your feet;
a glimpse of his face.
Ruth M Gee
Image © Sieger Köder, Fußwaschung
All the world of power is thine!
God of concrete, God of steel,
God of piston and of wheel,
God of pylon, God of steam,
God of girder and of beam,
God of atom, God of mine,
All the world of power is thine!
Richard G. Jones (1926-)
© Stainer and Bell Used by permission
All the world of power is thine!
Extravagant heat.
Brilliant light.
Molten metal formed and shaped.
Creation celebrated in shining steel.
A place of work,
of change and uncertainty.
Industry shaping community.
A glimpse of glory.
Ruth M Gee
...“we are home now”
Living just one mile from the Angel of the North I
become more and more aware that this is the real
‘cathedral’ of the north east. A man has had a
heart attack. He leaves hospital and somehow
‘knows’ he must go and visit the Angel of the
...“we are home now”
To the Angel people come to ask their partner to
marry them or to tell their partner they are going
to have their baby. Local people travelling up the
A1 see the Angel and say “we are home now”.
...“we are home now”
I long for a Church that truly listens to what is
deepest in people’s hearts for there I know that
I discover something of the glory of God.
The Rt Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow
“Daddy, come here!”
St Cuthbert's Shrine in Durham Cathedral
is a special place, a place of pilgrimage. It
is a resting place, a place to sit and wait for
others to catch up. It is a place of prayer, a
quiet place.
A father and his two young daughters
were sitting in a silence broken by
occasional whispered explanation.
“Daddy, come here!”
Suddenly, a child's clear voice called,
"Daddy, come here!" He hushed her and
went to where she was kneeling at the
shrine; her sister joined them and knelt
beside her. He gently kissed her hair and
whispered the prayer to which she was
“Daddy, come here!”
“Almighty God,
who didst call thy servant Cuthbert from
following the flock to follow thy Son and to
be a shepherd of thy people:
in thy mercy, grant that we may so follow
his example that we may bring those who
are lost home to thy fold;
“Daddy, come here!”
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.”
A glimpse of glory.
Reflection by Ruth M Gee
Prayer from Common Worship © Durham Cathedral. Collects for Bede
and Cuthbert. Used by permission.
...the pearl of great price
God of Grace;
may I find a pearl today;
in the deep sea of faith,
in the secure shell of intimacy,
in the irritation that gives birth to new
in the death that leads to new life.
...the pearl of great price
And finding that pearl;
may I discern its beauty,
grasp it and share it,
that others may see the pearl of great price,
the pearl of your grace.
Ruth M Gee
(inspired by Matthew 13:45-46)
...being on earth, as in heaven
God’s glory can be glimpsed
everywhere, by everyone... but how
different these glimpses can be in
urban and rural settings both in the
UK and overseas. The Revd Dr R
Daniel Premkumar, Director of CSI
Synod Diaconal Concerns, spoke
movingly of the Church of South
India which has over four million members many
of whom are entirely dependent on agriculture:
...being on earth, as in heaven
“The urban understanding tends to
seek its glimpses of God amongst
humans or in the beauty of nature.
The tribal world view on the other
hand is earth-centric, seeing
glimpses of God in the interaction
between humanity and the land.
From this perspective, ‘Earth’
refers to a world of human activity engaging with
land. God’s glory is seen in the agricultural world
being as it is in heaven.
...being on earth, as in heaven
“The Bible begins with the glorious
creation of land. God’s
judgements and promises are also
extensively clothed with
land and agricultural imageries.
We can all find the glory of
being on earth, as in heaven.”
The glory of spiders
I don’t like spiders. Their fast, unpredictable
movements unnerve me and all those legs
threaten to tickle unmercifully.
The big ones are the
worst, so quick to
escape into the nearest
dark place, from which
they will eventually
emerge stealthily to
surprise again.
The glory of spiders
Silent, scuttling creatures but from them
comes such beauty. The finely woven web that
glistens with dew in the morning light; intricate
and deadly, strong in its
fragility. Spider silk
that cannot be made
except from the silk
glands of the living
The glory of spiders
And, wonder of wonders, silk harvested and
woven into beautiful garments, naturally
I am challenged to look
again at spiders. Still
they unnerve me but I
see fragile beauty.
Glimpses of glory.
Ruth M Gee
(Reflection on seeing a garment made of
silk from the Golden Orb Spider)
...for you are ever with me
My Lord God, I have no idea
where I am going. I do not see
the road ahead of me. I cannot
know for certain where it will
end. Nor do I really know
myself, and the fact that I think
that I am following your will
does not mean that I am
actually doing so.
...for you are ever with me
But I believe that the desire to
please you does in fact please
you. And I hope I have that
desire in all that I am doing. I
hope that I will never do
anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you
will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing
about it.
...for you are ever with me
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death. I
will not fear, for you are ever
with me, and you will never
leave me to face my perils
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Brushed by butterfly wings
Feather light,
touch of wings,
glimmer of colour
the butterfly passes by.
Brushed by butterfly wings
Momentary reminder
of that other presence
touching me lightly;
the glory of God
passing nearby.
Ruth M Gee
(inspired by Exodus 33:22)
Glimpses of

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