Prophecy and the Meaning
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."
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
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
Enlarge hymn sheet
" I thought the words sounded familiar... " There it was ' Be Thou
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
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.
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.
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
had finally inserted the second image at 12.31pm. 231 happens to be a code
God in the Enigma Codes.
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
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