a bit of a talk…

“Of course they will expect a bit of a talk…”
Those words were echoing through my mind as the first reading from Genesis was being read.
Creation, story, unbelief, busses and their god-less messages anything less meaningless!!

Inspiration at the last possible moment came whilst drifting away from the reading back to the morning’s breakfast. The children wanted to watch a video whilst eating and chose Narnia! I was now re-creating the scene for my congregation in which Lucy (the youngest of the four Narnian adventurers was not believed about the land behind the wardrobe, even though she was more truthful out of herself and Edmond!
It occured to me as dd1 asked if there was a real place called Narnia me that perhaps we have lost our ability to imagine and to see the truth in stories needing to see tangible evidence.
The desperate need to know whether Narnia was real was not helped by my assertion that stories are as real as we want or need them to be. Those who don’t need or want the creation story to be real have seemingly lost the childhood ability to imagine a world beyond our own, strangly, something i attribute to the assertion of David Attenborough when he said recently on BBC1 about Darwin, that humanity believed it was the dominant race because the bible says so.
Such a lack of imagination not to engage with the story, but simply to say this is how it is.
If we start to realise we are not the most important creature on this planet, then that can be a starting point for cooperation rather than domination.  Of course that is the scary part for those with fixed ideas about the unseen world as we have to start to let go of our power over our own future…

All from the comments of a 9 year old sceptic!

Cycling ‘n’ CME

I Got the route correct this time!! Cycling as I was to Mold for CME, expecting great things on Mark’s Gospel, (and we got them) Dick France, a former principle of Wycliffe hall, writer etc was really quite engaging, and without all the new fangled toys that often appear at these days!!

He was particularly interesting on ‘The Kingdom of God’ which, he bemoans, is so often shortened to ‘The Kingdom’ or even ‘Kingdom … ‘  Suggesting that ‘The Kingdom’ in the current understanding of the phrase relates to a place, but the word derives from its old usage that of kingship or reign.  He was challenged with a question on charismatic ‘signs and wonders’ ‘of The Kingdom’ and if there were not to be located in someplace how could we see them etc.  I found this very strange, clearly he did too as he stressed his usage of the phrase Kingdom of God, rather than its shortening and actually prefering ‘Kingship of God’ as it doesn’t refer to a place.

If I had been quick enough, and I guess that is why I like to cycle home – time to think – I might have said that the question where is the Kingdom, ie signs and wonders is the wrong question.  Trying to locate ‘The Kingdom’ or signs of it with where questions kind of misses the point I feel.  I have not really ever thought of  ‘The Kingdom of God’ as a ‘where’, but a ‘what’.  It boils down to the same as ‘Where’, or ‘What’ is ‘God’ Dick suggested that if you must shorten the phrase then to shorten it the other way, i.e. God, rather than kingdom.

When you start asking ‘What is God?’ rather than ‘Where is God?’ or ‘What are the signs of the Kingdom of God‘ you get a far different answer.   Start taking a closer interest in what is around you rather than searching out the great lightning bolts.  You can then start to locate God in everything from the greatest marvel of creation to the simple hug shared between friends.

Oscar Wilde said:

“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”

Therefore we just have to open our eyes and see…