Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Lectionary Leanings - Incomprehensible Edition
This week, of course, is the one when preachers everywhere try hard to book a visiting preacher....
The week when the Athanasian Creed, with its proclamation of
"The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible..." seems to be crying out for the rider
"the whole darned thing incomprehensible"
And yet...And yet..
God in relationship...inviting us in.
So, where to go?
The texts themselves are here
I shall be at the ordination of priests in our Cathedral on Saturday afternoon, so have a strong inclination to look at call, response and readiness ("woe is me") in the light of Isaiah 6.......and maybe, just maybe, to try and recover some sense of the enormity of the God whom we love and serve. I work so hard to help people lose their fear of God that I wonder sometimes if we're in danger of losing sight of the awe and majesty Isaiah describes so wonderfully...
But against that we have, of course, dear Nicodemus - a closet Christian and, like many, given to doing his best thinking at night. I'm certain he had been tossing and turning for a while before reaching the conclusion that drove him from his bed like some theological Archimedes leaping from the bath
"Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God"
It would be tempting to rehabilitate the concept of being "born again", which here in the UK at least has such strong associations with a particular theology that it's hard to use it in mainstream worship...to try and reconsider the radical disjunction there should be between lives lived in Christ and life without Him.
Here, the Spirit is the midwife of new birth...but poor Nicodemus remains baffled...
"how can these things be"
We're back to the incomprehensible once more!
What a blessing, then, that we have that rock of a verse to offer our congregations - the one to cling to when theology defeats us, when old sins seem determined to halt new birth.
Perhaps, on Trinity Sunday that message of the Father's love seen in the mission of the Son will carry the clearest message
"For God so loved the world...."
Not the church, mind you...nor "people like us"...the world
Goodness, I almost wish I were preaching!
How 'bout you?