WOV 557


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Prophecy and the Meaning in 557 (Part II)

On Sunday 2nd March 2003, we went back to Mt. Albert Methodist Church to sing in the choir. For various reasons, we had not been back since a singularly depressing and irritating service at midnight on Christmas Eve 2002.

It was Covenant Sunday at Mt. Albert. The service was notable for confusion on the part of the minister, who managed to skip a whole page of her photocopied service sheet, thus omitting the Second Lesson, her sermon and a hymn. It was only after beginning the Communion preparation prayers that she realised something was sadly wrong with the service so she gave her sermon in the middle of Communion.

Her sermon began with a reference to the Transfiguration, which was a little puzzling because the Second Lesson which told of the Transfiguration had been omitted. She progressed onto prophecy and how the prophets brought the word of God to the people. Then she went on to religious experience, an awareness of something which she called a ' mountain top view ' . Some people can experience such a thing during Holy Communion, she said.

Then she continued with the Communion Service, the congregation filing up and then the choir filing out. Jenny and I separated ourselves from the others and stood at the back as we consider Communion to be little more than a sanitised pagan ritual. We do not accept that Christ died for man' s salvation. We believe he died because he tried to show man the error of his ways.

Jenny was quite excited. " Look!" she said " Have you noticed the next hymn after Communion? " I had noticed the title but not the tune. " Look!" she said. " It is sung to WOV 557."

wov557page2R.gif (8661 bytes)

Enlarge hymn sheet

WOV is the Combined Churches Australian Hymn Book which in New Zealand is published, with a largely Maori supplement, as ' With One Voice'

I was staggered. I had a feeling of realisation, of rightness, of understanding, of depth of wonder at the precision of God ' s inspiration.

I suppose it was exactly as the priestess had described, a religious experience during Communion - well the rest of the choir was taking Communion anyway!

It was exactly ten hours earlier, that I had modified a page on this  Lux Aeterna Publishing website because I had wanted to have more emphasis on prophecy rather than coincidence. I had changed the title of a page from ' Lockerbie and 557 ' to 'Prophecy in the meaning of 557' . Now the minister had chosen a hymn set to ' Slane ' , the tune of WOV 557, when her sermon had been on prophecy and the role of the prophet in conveying God' s message.

Coincidence? Or was it destiny? This same minister, when she was training to be a priestess, had enrolled for the course of lectures I had given at Auckland University. She only attended the first lecture on 4th March 1999, four years earlier, almost to the very day.

I believe my coincidence research shows God ' s warnings today to mankind. The hymn she chose was a corrupted version of an old hymn. The words used in the service on 2nd March began ' Be Thou my vision, Oh, heart of my heart ' . It is an ' inclusive' version, ie. it excludes all references to men. Father, Lord, King of Heaven are eliminated because priestesses don ' t like these terms.

I had given her a copy of my paper ' Problems with Probability ' at a vicarage lunch some months earlier, but as far as I could tell, she had not read it or realised the significance of her choices that morning. Over tea after the service, I asked her whether she saw the message in the confusion in the service. " Oh yes," she said. " Ministers have far too much to do. " " No, " was my reply. " The correct interpretation is that you are confused in your theology. What you are telling people is wrong." Naturally, she did not accept my interpretation.

Later I discovered why she had chosen ' 557 ' . It was because she wanted to force the congregation to sing a version of the hymn she preferred from her photocopied order of service. The words of hymn 557 were totally different, the first line being ' Lord of Creation to you be all praise ' . I found the old version of the service sheet hymn in the very same hymn book. WOV 455 is ' Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart' also set to ' Slane ' of course.

So, ' 557 ' showed me that I was right in the interpretation I gave to her of the message to be gleaned from her confusion. The movement to inclusive language is wrong. It causes nothing but confusion. One Communion leaflet at Mt. Albert Church talks of God as Father, mother, lover and friend, and yet the church also claims that Christ (recognised as a man) was God, so how is that for confusion? How can Christ be father, mother and lover? That latter term is particularly obnoxious in relation to either God or Christ as it has a purely sexual overtone when used in this way. Then there is the ' god in people' of which her service sheet prayers speak.

So, is it all just chance? Two days later, I was talking about this to a colleague who had come to a meeting at Tuakau. He sings in the Hamilton Cathedral Choir. Reaching into his car, he took out a service sheet from Hamilton Cathedral for the very same Sunday.

cathedral versionR.gif (7809 bytes)

Enlarge hymn sheet

" I thought the words sounded familiar... " There it was ' Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart' to ' Slane' and it was the only hymn common to both the service at Mt. Albert and the service at Hamilton Cathedral.

My colleague' s name is Donald Carter. Sunday, 2nd March had been the anniversary of Howard Carter ' s death and it was Howard Carter who had discovered Tutankhamun' s Tomb
(See ' Ankhsoun, Daughter of Ra ' ).

That day, Tuesday, 4th March, marked the exact anniversary of the start of my university lecture series entitled ' The Significance of Coincidence' . Was this a cycle of destiny? Can all this really just be chance? If coincidence does not link to God, why is this Web woven so intricately around churches and choirs?

I often ask myself why it is a Methodist church for the services lack depth, gravity, or any feeling of God, apart from occasionally in some voluntary on the wonderful organ which is situated above the choir at Mt. Albert.

Perhaps the answer lies in the word ' Methodist' because the word ' method' implies a procedure that someone has laid down, some designer, some orchestrator. Perhaps it is another indication that Coincidence is indeed God' s way of remaining anonymous, but very much causing us to ponder on His existence.

Whether the churches like it or not, there would seem to be a real God, distinct from the gods they prefer to proclaim. Perhaps the situation today is not as different from that in ancient Egypt as many might imagine in our advanced, technological, ' civilised' world. Perhaps priests mislead the people today every bit as much as did the priests in the Temples of Amun in Akhenaten' s time, thirty-three centuries ago. And perhaps the promises of salvation and eternal life made by today' s priests are equally false. 

11.44.41. 13/3/03

A final thought for Covenant Sunday. Perhaps God ' s Covenant is only with those who seek Him in their lives, by their pursuit of truth, honesty and integrity, whatever the personal cost in a world which values only wealth and success. For in God alone lies security, both in this world and the next.

1.50.44 13/3/03

mt albert cover2R.gif (3712 bytes)

cathedral cover2R.gif (18381 bytes)

And finally some strange coincidences illustrating  the interactive nature of so many of our experiences
When I came to insert these images into  this page I had to resize them from the images which I had obtained from the scanning. The cathedral cover image came up as 557 pixels wide.  I had to resize this to 295. The time was 12.13pm, 9th April 2003.

Show Cathedral re-size screen

The Mt Albert cover caused me a problem as the black edge did not sit up against the white. The web page background showed through. I re-scanned this image to a different editing programme. This solved the image edge problem but then this image too came up with an initial width of 557 pixels when I came to resize it to correctly fit the page!!.  At that point I realised that my setting the table width to 590 pixels just 'happened' to generate two images each of church service sheets each one 557 pixels wide. I had finally inserted the second image  at 12.31pm.  231 happens to be a code  for God in the Enigma Codes.

Show Mt Albert re-size screen

Of course it could all be chance. By itself it means little, but taken with everything else does it not cause you to wonder?  Perhaps there really is a meaning in 557 after all.  For other examples of coincidence involving this significant number see The Coherent Thread of 557

PS. On 10th April, I had just finished a few minor improvements to this page when I realised that it now took rather a long time to load. I checked the image file sizes realised one was far too big and concluded my quick way of defining image sizes on the final webpage had a serious disadvantage. I reverted to my original slow method of reducing the image size first.  I called up the image in Photopaint and clicked to show dimensions in pixels. I converted the two hymn sheets. Then I set to work on the covers. I happened to call up the Hamilton Cathedral one first.  The default was in inches so I had to switch to pixels. Of course it was 557 pixels again but my eye was then drawn to the bottom corner of the screen. The time was 5.57pm.

Show second Cathedral screen
I re-sized that Hamilton Cathedral cover sheet and then the Mount Albert one, and   then  saved the file. I had reduced the loading time for the page to 55.6% of its original value.  Was it inspiration that suddenly caused me to notice the long page loading time when I did and correct it at the precise time that was relevant to the topic of this page?

After this there was just time then for a quick meal  then we had to go off to a choir practice at a little church in the Bombay Hills, St Mary's on the Hill at Pokeno. It was the last choir practice before the Palm Sunday service.

Somehow 557 seems  to be inextricably linked into meaningful coincidence, prophecy and inspiration and so much of it is interlinked with church choirs - symbols perhaps of man's attempts to  link to God.  For other examples of coincidence involving this significant number see The Coherent Thread of 557

For much later series of meaningful coincidences which occurred in 2007, relating to this hymn see
The Million Dollar Question
WOV 557 at 1557 on 2297

Be Thou My Vision


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