Parish Link - May 2021

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a gannet

Have you ever looked a Gannet in the eyes?

Have you ever looked a Gannet in the eyes? If not, this is one the best times of the year to visit the growing Gannet colony at Bempton Cliffs. Gannet eyes are only small, but they are far superior to hu-man eyes. For instance, Gannets can observe much more detail, from a much greater distance, and at a much wider angle.

Imagine we would be able to soar with Gannets some 60 feet above the choppy waters of the North Sea. We would be lucky to see the faint glimmer of shoal of fish. A Gannet however, can see an individual fish in the shoal, and even register the UV light reflected from its scales. What is more, a Gannet can compensate for the refraction of the light, and calculate the exact position of the fish, before plunging in the water at a speed of up to 62 miles an hour, protecting its precious eyes with a third, transparent, eyelid. Once submerged Gannets are able to change the very shape of their eye lenses to help them focus underwater. Incredible!

Can you believe your eyes? Jesus, after his resurrection, wasn’t recognised by those who knew him. First, Mary thought he was the gardener. Then, the couple traveling back home to Emmaus thought he was a stranger. Was there something wrong with their eyesight? Nothing. The issue is that at times our eyes are not providing us with enough information to break through the rust of our expectations. The real recognition - that moment when the penny drops is provoked by... well, by what?Mary recognised Jesus when he spoke her name. The couple from Emmaus recognised him when he broke the bread..

Which begs the question. If we don't observe the presence of God in a particular situation, does that mean God really isn't there? Or is he just hidden from our sight and recognition?

Love and prayers

Rev Johannes Nobel