“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars….” Haven’t we outgrown all this magical thinking? Does the idea of the Second Coming really have anything to say to us here and now?
“So you are a king” said Pilate to Jesus. What a simple phrase: what a lot going on. What does it mean for Jesus to be a “King” in our democratic age?
When great troubles come upon us, when we are beginning to suspect that we might not be God after all, where do we turn?
How do we live? That, it seems to me is the big question. People in every age have asked it, in as many different ways as there have been cultures. Sometimes, as here, both the question and the answer have been explicit. Sometimes implicit – you have to look below the surface froth of events to have a sense of what is really driving things. But there is no escaping it. – all of human life is driven by this overarching question.
How do we live?
A man sits on an ash-heap, scratching at his sores with a broken shard of a clay pot. He looks up at the sky and demands answers. What happens next will amaze you!
In difficult times, our simplistic answers stop working. What is life all about? What big story am I part of?
What do my battered trainers have to do with Paul’s stirring words about putting on the full armour of God?
Our experience of life is such a mxi of joy and sorrow, pleasure and suffering. How can we be grateful when the world is so full of suffering? Can we be grateful for, rather than to, the universe?
Some nights, I dream about freedom. About walking out the door without a mask, or having friends over to my house to have dinner together. To booking a plane ticket to, well, anywhere really, and being confident that I wouldn’t have to cancel it and add it to my enormous mountain of flight credit vouchers. But what does it mean to be really free – free in a way which lockdowns don’t touch?
Is our experience of church more like an untutored 12 year old on the verge of capsizing a catamaran? Or is it more like the skilful competence of the children of Swallows and Amazons? And what on earth does this have to do with the Letter to the Ephesians?