Sep 09

Jesus never met a prostitute

Mary MagdaleneI have a couple of pieces on the go at the moment and I am happy with neither of them: hence the long gap since my last post. This, then, is a bit of a ramble – but then that’s sort of the point, isn’t it…?

I want to be better than I am. I want to be generous, brave, wise, loving, gentle and patient. I want to be fun, happy, honest, caring and strong. I want to be fit, energetic, kind, compassionate and sociable. Oh, and I want to be holy, too.

I have said before that I am cursed with a perfectionist streak and that this, when combined with my chronic idleness, is one of the chief reasons I get cross. This is glib, yes, but it is generally true and it often surfaces.

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May 01

What am I worth?

Michelangelo - The Creation of AdamWe had a good sermon at church last Sunday. It seemed  that our vicar thought otherwise and my heart went out to her because of this. She preached on James 1 1-12 and she talked about perseverance, trials, humility and expectation.

She was humble and sincere and she opened up about her pre-sermon crises of confidence.

There was one thing she said that struck a particular chord with me and that was concerning our necessary reliance on God and how, as Christians we sometimes need to humble ourselves completely to let God take control.

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Apr 12

He Never said a Mumblin’ Word

Dali - Christ of St John of the CrossI am a Cross Christian. I believe Jesus died on the cross, for me. Not just for me of course, he died for you too (yes he did, wow! eh?). But he did die for me. That fact is staggering. Jesus Christ died for you and me.

It is more than that though. Jesus didn’t just die for us; he let us kill him on a cross. This is an important distinction to make because it implies a very explicit act of will. Forgive the irreverence, but Jesus did not have a bit of an accident with a cross.

Nor did Jesus have no choice in the matter.

Jesus was the Son of God and he was God incarnate. He had repeatedly demonstrated his sovereignty over creation, life, death and Satan and he was the most powerful being ever to exist. In the heavenly host, he commanded armies of universal supremacy and power. He could unleash the wrath of the creator at will. He could end the universe in the blink of an eye.

One does not crucify such a person without his explicit permission.

Jesus chose, deliberately and intentionally, to let us kill him and, I believe, he continued to choose to do so incessantly and resolutely until the point of his death and beyond.

When I think of the crucifixion, one of the pictures that come to mind is Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross.

This is a striking image and, although a little kitsch, it appeals both to my surrealist sensibilities and to my sense of drama and perspective. The painting shows Christ on the cross, but without nails or ties, looking down, from high above, on a fishing scene.  I can easily imagine, in the darkness above and behind the crucified Lord, the most powerful army ever to be arrayed: Michael, Gabriel and the host of heaven baying for blood, desperate to intercede, with Christ’s outstretched arms the only things preventing a devastating execution of justice upon mankind.

The crucifixion is one long, terrible and unparalleled demonstration of loving restraint.

Thank you, my Lord. Thank you.