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Waves of God’s Embrace

Canterbury Press
Norwich 2008
RRP $27.95

Reviewed by Barbara Bailey.

This creative publication leads the reader on a journey to explore, by way of metaphor, the connection of the great oceans and seas to an imaginative understanding of the Truine God.

Written by an Anglican Bishop from Polynesia it is timely in many ways.

In its seven chapters, humanity’s connection to the environment, the threat of climate change to the Pacific islands, our need for interdependence as the people of God and the blessing of ecumenical unity and generosity are addressed.

The richness of human diversity is explored and celebrated reminding the present day church that it is more useful to join the dancing waves of peace and justice through celebration of loving communion than to point to our differences.

The need for times of space, dialogue and listening is emphasised.

The pages are full of captivating parables of hope and grace expressed through scripture, poems, songs and stories which focus on the rhythm and harmony humans can have with creation.

There is a natural connection with and dependence on the sea for these islanders, in fact their lives and nourishment depend upon it, so Mr Halapua speaks of theomoana God the Ocean.

The author explores too the place of human beings as part of creation, the abuse of the gifts of the created order while using the metaphor of the seas and oceans to define personal identity, relationships, sharing and hospitality.

At the conclusion of the ninety-nine pages, references for further reading are given as well as an appendix relating to the policies of the Pacific Conference of Churches.

This publication is full of deep spiritual wisdom and reflection.

Highly recommended for individual reading but would be excellent for small group study and discussion.