yrieithydd: (Visitation)
[personal profile] yrieithydd
A bunch of people I follow on Twitter are reading a book (Stephen Cottrell's Walking backwards to Christmas and blogging about it over the course of Advent.

The praticalities:

As there are 11 chapters I think my policy is going to be read one day and then blog the next which will give 22 days which will allow for the odd missed day.


I didn't quite get the character here; it felt a bit clunky. There were theological points to be made and I'm not sure I believed an 84yr old 1st century Jewish woman would have expressed herself like that.* This was most true around the matter of Temple sacrifices eg " Why this endless death and spilling of blood ? What sort of God needs this slaughter? How does it make a difference , and is there a way of doing what the Temple does that could bring it to an end once for all?"

I think what would have helped me believe this would have been quotes from psalms/the prophets where God is said not to need or even to abhor sacrifices especially when coupled with injustice.

Having said that , the parts about light burning up the darkness within resonated with elements from the sermon I heard yesterday morning. Sin and judgement aren't fashionable terms today and yet, the national response to things like the child abuse scandals show that we do still yearn for judgement in some ways, but for those evil people from whom we do our best to distance ourselves. How do we speak of these things in our world today? The church has been complicit in child abuse, which to many means that she has lost all credibility, and yet for me it is Christianity's assessment of people which rings true. We are not perfect people who can judge others, but forgiven sinners who acknowledge the wrongs we have done. Being made up of forgiven sinners, the church often fails, for example by falling into the religious trap of thinking we've got it because we do the religious stuff right- the things for which Jesus criticised the pharisees -but also by being caught up in power struggles and protecting our image and in so many ways.

Reading an article which interviewed famous atheists about their values and where they come from I was left pondering whether anyone of them would see humility as a virtue. It's a key one for Christianity, indeed Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said, `No spiritual house can stand for a moment except on the foundation of humility’.** This is not what our society things which values pride and confidence and selling yourself and the church is not immune. But without humility talking of sin and judgement fails because we can only do that from a position of humbly acknowledging our own failure.

*I'm reading a Sr Fidelma novel at the moment and I have similar gripes there.
*Quoted in the principles of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis

Date: 2014-12-01 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miriammoules.livejournal.com
Ooh interesting. I'll have to pick up a copy :)



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