Stole for Ordinary Time or Season after Pentecost: "RETURNING TO WELL"
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"Returning to the Well"
Clergy stole for Ordinary Time: "Returning to the Well"
Several things inspired this stole.
The 23rd Psalm speaks of finding rest in God who is such a caring, protective, and nurturing being as to be like a shepherd. Jesus Christ is given to us as the ultimate shepherd, who would go searching for the lost, care for the sick and lay down his life for the flock. While growing in our faith, learning to entrust our lives to God is a trying and some times difficult process.
The New Testament gives us scripture of Jesus having a very symbolic relationship with water. From baptism to turning water into wine, to meeting the woman at the well, we begin to understand that living in the light of Christ – en Christo – means finding living water that spiritually nourishes, gives meaning to life, and offers an enduring sustenance.
Not too long ago I was reminded to ‘return to the well’ – return to the places I’ve found comfort and fruitfulness and divine abundance before. I have held these words close to me for a while and I think they resonate for all of us, especially in the season of Ordinary Time when we are focused on our own faith journey. At times when life takes us away from our spiritual practices we feel farther away from God. Even if we regularly practice our faith, when times get harder or more painful we need to renew these ways: prayer, contemplation, worship, being in nature, journaling, sitting in a certain place with certain prayer beads or shawl, walking labyrinth, talking to and listening for God, humbly admitting we don’t have a clue. We are always loved, but when we come to these practices again and again, we open ourselves to be participants in this abundance of love, peace, grace and mercy anew.
The design is reminiscent of the 23rd Psalm with vibrant hills and waters nearby. As we return to the wellspring, which has fed us before, the waters flow in and around the shepherd’s staff, symbolizing us returning to Christ. The fish in a shiny blue-grey silk symbolize abundance and connects us to the miracle of thousands being fed with a few fish and loaves. We are fed with the abundance of the love of God. When we return to the well – over and over in life – we find living waters.
This stole is part of the Cross Series of stoles. A cross is stitched at the back neck.