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Showing posts from April, 2015

'What kind of day has it been?'

Mary got up early that morning. Her world had fallen apart and the best she could do was to walk out of the city to anoint his body. Her world had caved in. Light would come but if you'd seen her along the path you'd have met a broken woman. Perhaps, if British, she'd have said she was fine but platitudes cover a multitude of pain.

The story would be different later that day, because sometimes things change like that - and the change she faced would be the dawn centuries of dark nights of unchanging circumstances and chronic illness would long for in agonising anticipating trust.

I sat in church just over two years ago having spent most of the week in hospital with one of our sons. I've told that story before here so I wont rehearse its details.

I felt God spoke to me in two ways that morning.

First to give me a glimpse of what he might do in this painful and dark time. I wouldn't 'process' anything else of that experience for a good month or so after that…

"Everything’s s’pposed to be different than what it is here"

Sin is one of the hardest subjects to speak about well today. As Francis Spufford observes in his book Unapologetic we think of sin as trivial naughtiness, prompting him to try the term HPTFTU as an alternative phrase. It's easily misheard or is a term that quickly offends in a way that prevents further dialogue.

Careful thought is needed. I loved reading Neal Plantinga's book Not the way its supposed to be, last year. It's a thoughtful and careful discussion of how to think about this subject. He draws together the varied biblical language and category so that we might take this subject more seriously.

The biblical approach to sin isn't monochrome. Different audiences are addressed differently. Jesus was accused of being sin-lite by the Pharisees who blindly missed his confrontation of their parading and privilege and pomp whilst grunting and grumbling about his acceptance of 'tax collectors and sinners'.

The outsiders were deeply aware of having broken God&#…