Thursday, 10 March 2011

Rising from the Ashes

I continue to be fascinated by the different pathways to healing and growth that former brethren have taken in the wake of the collapse of credibility within our erstwhile faith community. We form a distinctive diaspora, and a bundle of contradictions. Sometimes I'm caught up in admiration for the strength and integrity of individuals who have moved on, even when I know that I simply don't have the capacity to move in that same direction.

Gary is, to say the least, an interesting case in point. Like myself he's travelled from the iconoclasm and wooden literalism of fringe fundamentalism. Now he's found a meaningful place within the traditions of Anglicanism. In his latest blog posting he reflects on the significance of Lent, a season on the liturgical calendar that I'm every bit as jaundiced about as Jim West. Yet for Gary there's almost a sense of transcendence in the observance.
If someone had told me twenty years ago that I would be smearing ashes on the foreheads of people tonight I would never have believed them.  Tonight was Ash Wednesday at the church I attend.  A night that signifies the start of forty days of self examination.  An examination of our fallibility, our mortality, our participation in oppression and injustice to others.  At this time we are particularly drawn to Jesus' call for justice: freedom for the oppressed, release of the captives, good news to the poor and recovery of sight to the blind.  It's about confronting the power of death in all its forms, terror and tyranny, corruption and greed, disregard for creation and all the forces that prevent people from living life in it's fullest.

May the Force be with you brother.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Gavin. I hope we can all listen to one other long enough to at least be able to get a glimpse of what it is that we (think we) disagree about.

    In a similar vein, some Christians are being encouraged to “take up” atheism for Lent this year – i.e. learn more about it