Showing posts from May, 2015

Now the dust has settled...

Whatever your politics, there was one good result from the General Elections: the gap that it revealed between the real world and the shadowy demi-monde of social media - though "antisocial media" might be nearer the mark. The squawking predictions of the Twitterati, to whom our media and politicians gave such ample ear, simply did not translate into political reality. Social media users proved not to be representative of the British people at large, which is just as well, given the sheer hatred they have been spewing at each other since. If people behaved to one another on the streets the same as they do on screen, I'd be afraid to go out.

Perhaps the screen is part of the problem. The nastiest bullying that happens at boarding school is after the lights go out, because it's much easier to say hurtful things to someone when you can't see their face. How much easier, then, when you've got a plastic display dividing you from the reality of a person who may be…

Christmas Backwards - Ascension, Liturgy and Life

"We saw his light break through the cloud of glory Whilst we were rooted still in time and place As earth became a part of Heaven’s story And heaven opened to his human face."
These words from the contemporary Cambridge poet and priest Malcolm Guite admirably sum up what happens to the universe in Jesus Christ, and is made finally manifest at His Ascension: heaven and earth become part of each other's story. Creation meets creator in the one who is both heavenly and human.
But there is more than just a meeting, there is a movement, too, and one which contradicts our earth-rooted rules: for in this case, what has come down must go back up. Moreover, God's pattern of descent and ascent is the pattern we are called to follow in our worship and our lives. It is the light that can transfigure us here below and make us light – as feathers, to float into union with the Divine.
In the topsy-turvy logic of heaven, Christ had to come down before He could rise. His descent begins w…

Abide in me

"I don't need to go to church to be a Christian." So I'm often told. Well, let's see about that.
It's easy to miss the point of Jesus' famous words about the vine if we lose sight of when and where he said them. Does anyone know, I wonder? Well, despite being five weeks into Easter, we are now being taken right back to Maundy Thursday, because these are words from Jesus' homily at the Last Supper, his after-dinner speech, if you like. And so, all this talk about 'vines' has some context. There's an empty chalice sitting on the table, from which the disciples have all drunk. There is the blood of the Passover lamb that was shed before the disciples ate it earlier on, and we know, but they didn't, that there would be more blood yet to shed: the blood of the new and eternal Paschal victim who was talking to them there and then. 
There's context to Jesus talk about vines being cut away, too - the ones that do not bear fruit and do not ab…