Writing these ‘blurbs’ is always interesting in terms of fast and slow. Sometimes the idea or incident or trigger just leaps onto the page and at other times I am in the Outback with not even a drop of an idea.
It occurred to me that I’d write about time. That was because this week in a meeting about what is happening at Redeemer, Harlow, with their redevelopment into a big alms house project with a church as a core component, we heard the assessment that we had 5 years in front
of us. At Good Shepherd in Coventry there has also been work to redevelopment part of the land and it has taken many years before the planning approval was recently granted. Maybe there will be something in place this time next year? We can only hope. With this impetus I started drafting things in my mind and began when I visited the Mezquita in Cordoba a long time ago only to
find the altar hidden behind scaffolding and plastic as the restoration work had just started. I so wanted to see it. How long do I wait? ‘About 10 years’ said the guide as if this was an everyday answer! 10 years??!!
Wait a minute! Hang on! The neurons were slowly firing. I checked. Yep, just over 5 years ago I wrote in the blurb about time perspectives and I started with my Cordoba experience! You might call that repetitious but I like to think at least I’m consistent!
It begs the question–to me at least–what sorts of messages should one give over a long period of time? If people know what you’re going to say, why say it? This is an issue for communicators (and that includes preachers) and for organisations–combining truth and relevance in a world that is and isn’t changing. Obviously my family would want me to say that I love them–same message over the decades–and I want to hear that as well. So the same
message which can be stereotyped as ‘boring’ can be important. Very important.
Yet the teachings about so many things in life–science, medicine, politics, biology, psychology, religion (they seem to proliferate!), personhood, individuality, society, the legal system, governance–change or are made relevant for each generation.
What is Christianity? Something that changes or something that has a constancy? And if you are thinking, ‘Well, it’s both’, then who decides what can’t be changed and what is relativised? These are big issues facing religions–not just Christianity. For us, it boils down to how we read the Bible and how we wrestle with following the text and following Jesus. Of course, the two items shouldn’t be put in tension–ever. But we live in a sinful world and so we wrestle
with saying God’s Word of Law and Gospel to a same but different world.
‘Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.’ Very true. Just as a news flash for a dying world is true. ‘Christ is risen!’ GS