Sunday, 22 February 2009

Fit for Purpose?

"Every time we make a choice, we are 'turning' the central part of us into something a little different to what it was before". C S Lewis - Mere Christianity

How would you feel behind the wheel of a formula 1 racing car,
or an armored vehicle,
or an articulated lorry?

For most of us, such an experience would be totally out of our depth
(if it isn't for you personally, just 'up' the example - a captain of a super tanker... an astronaut of a space shuttle...a pilot of an huge airliner).
The fact is that we all face experiences, often in our daily lives, which totally overwhelm us, and they can be in very ordinary moments - starting a new job, dealing with a family crisis, the experience of getting older.
Usually, we just sigh and seek to do the best in these moments, but we often feel deeply 'out of step' with the frustration such points of change - often painful or very difficult moments - bring upon us. We sense a real and deep lack or 'rightness' about all this, as if something is seriously out of step, leading to such events.

Christianity teaches that the reason such 'indecency' constantly breaks in upon us at every level of life is because life itself now has been twisted by a malady, so that whilst we recognize within that things shouldn't be this way, we are also chained to this labyrinth of futility.

Some of my recent postings here have looked at the reasons behind this state - that real people, in real events, set things in motion that have impacted upon us all,
but the good news is that because of the life and work of Jesus Christ, a resolution to this has been put into motion, and the day will come when we're no longer living chained to futility.

We all encounter the trails of this life,
but God wants us to know there is an answer!

The day approaches when we'll once again be able to live, to work and play, without feeling the pinch of a world imprisoned by fear, pain, misery and death.
That certainly brings hope in the days when we're just trying to keep above the waves!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Beauty amongst the ashes.

I'm no great fan of contemporary Christian 'worship' music - it generally lacks both the depth and sublime majesty of the great psalms and hymns of previous times - but there have been some very 'on track' Christian musicians over the last 30 years when it came to "speaking" the truth (both to our times and to the church), using the medium of the day -rock music - to do so.

Here's a recent find that confirms that just such an art is alive and well:

Christians can, indeed should, engage with the culture well, and artists like this show we can 'say' something today.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

W a r Z o n e

“Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained.”

The Duke of Wellington.

The daily grind - facing the weather, the stress, the ups and downs....all that life tends to throw at us, whether we're ready for it or not. It can be hell, but then, what else would you expect on the front line?

It's pretty amazing, when you consider the amount of sheer misery and grief many of us encounter that we miss that - life doesn't make much sense otherwise. This planet and our race have been at the very heart of a conflict which literally is about the true nature and identity of existence itself, yet most days the 'gray' of our current condition keeps us looking at the pain and chaos like spectators at some diabolical and twisted version of the Roman games - something we're almost content to observe until we discover we're next into the arena!

It's those 'you're next' moments that quickly shock us to our senses. Just look how close we all are to that precipice of death - the pain-numbing mantras of atheism don't seem anywhere near as good when that reality bites: life is pointless, and the universe is just a fluke - what a comfort when you're facing such a moment!

The only place we gain true insight into this war is at the Cross.
Jesus Christ takes all the darkness - the pain and misery of our fallen lives, our scorched world,
and quenches it in His death and resurrection. He lays down His life to terminate the hostilities, to open the way back to a world where His scars, His emptying of Himself, insures that ours will be gone.

Life is pretty bleak here sometimes, but just like the moment when the allies arrived on d-day, the entire nature of this war has changed - the victory is certain, whatever comes now.

Thanks be to God, who has given us this great victory through His Son, Jesus Christ.