Showing posts from November, 2013

The King of paradox

In my school assemblies at Victoria and Thomas Coram schools on Wednesday, a round of questions to the children quickly established what a king should be. He should be born in a palace or castle, to rich parents who were themselves king and queen, and should learn martial skills, such as riding, so that he could eventually lead his armies to glorious victory over enemy nations. 
I then asked what kind of king Jesus was. The children got the point. A very different sort of king, born not in a palace, but in a cave behind a pub, and not of noble parents, but to a poor woman. A king who spent his younger years doing the quite ordinary job of a carpenter. A king who rode into Jerusalem not on a warhorse, but on a donkey. A king who, when His disciple Peter took up arms on His behalf in the garden of Gethsemane, told him to sheathe his sword. 
Jesus is a king of paradox: the paradox first of the Word made flesh, God beyond all being entering into being, the creator walking among his creat…

Imagine: a Sadducee Remembrance Day?

It's just as well the Sadducees didn't win the intellectual argument in ancient Jewish thought. As Luke tells us, they didn't believe in the Resurrection, you see. As far as they were concerned, there was nothing more to "eternal life" than going forth and multiplying: you lived after death in your children, and your children's children, and your children's children's children - you get the message. I suppose, were it not for the more pharisaical strand of Jewish thought, the one that did insist on a resurrection and an afterlife, the Son of God would have had to be born to some other race. But "what ifs" don't get us very far in discerning the economy of salvation. As it happened, there was such a tradition, and it was this tradition that Jesus inherited, expanded and ultimately fulfilled. And for Christians, "as it happened" is more important than "as it might have happened but didn't." Ours is an historically r…