Saturday, 23 April 2011

Week ending

A young girl recently wrote a letter to God asking "How did you get invented?" Eventually she received a reply from the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can read it here: Alex Renton writes to God. I think you'll be impressed. Her mother certainly was. He certainly has a varied job, from celebrating Easter to explaining theology to children (well) to royal weddings to holding a dysfunctional church together. I suspect he enjoys some parts more than others.

This afternoon Jane and I did our second stint representing Oxfordshire's MNDA at the Incurable Optimism exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Oxford. A number of people mistook me for Patrick Joyce, the artist. (He's the character with a paintbrush in his mouth, next to his portrait of Stephen Hawking.) I assured them that I had the same MND as him but was just another exhibit. We had some nice conversations with visitors. There was one couple who'd come from New Zealand.

Yesterday we went to the united churches' service on the green in Grove to celebrate Good Friday. It's a pity we don't do it more often imho.

Meanwhile the Middle East today produces more disturbing news items. I'm sure we don't get a balanced picture. For example, I'm puzzled about the reports of civilian casualties in Misrata. To me the insurgent soldiers look like civilians holding weapons. Whatever is happening in Libya and Syria is ghastly. It seems as though we are being shown pictures to justify mission creep. Unmanned drones are now deployed. Egypt and Tunisia don't appear to have shaken down quite as neatly as we overoptimistically first hoped, whilst Bahrain (whose crown prince comes as an honoured guest to Friday's wedding) and Yemen still have scenes of startling repression. Reconciliation is not easily won, and it's not won by force of arms. It's actually won by a surrender of power.
Christ is risen: He is risen indeed
PS I've just received this quotation from Pope Benedict's Q & A session about the use of force: "This [Christ's life and death] is what shows us the true face of God, that violence never comes from God, never helps bring anything good, but is a destructive means and not the path to escape difficulties. He is thus a strong voice against every type of violence. He strongly invites all sides to renounce violence, even if they feel they are right. The only path is to renounce violence, to begin anew with dialogue, with the attempt to find peace together, with a new concern for one another, a new willingness to be open to one another. This, dear lady, is Jesus' true message: seek peace with the means of peace and leave violence aside." Amen, I say. And I'm glad that in his Easter sermon he urged for "peace to triumph over division, hate and violence".

No comments:

Post a Comment