Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos

Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos
Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sinner or Miracle

All human beings are miracles to whom the only possible response is to offer love.

This, said to me by a clergyman friend, jars so completely with a church convinced that we are all sinners and which sees its sole job as saving them.

The world and humanity are, of course, messy. We might be miracles but we are not all or always good people. We do though manage to do good things from time to time, perhaps despite ourselves.

Imagine a church where we don't confess our sins in the hope of the slate being wiped clean by absolution, but rather reflect on what good we have done and plan to do.

St Mark and Easter

I wonder if I am alone in valuing the way St Mark approaches the Easter story.

The women go to the tomb early and find it open. They see a young man who tells that the Jesus is risen and that they should follow him to Galilee.

St Mark then tells us that they go away terrified and bewildered; more than that, they tell no one of what they have seen. And that's it.

On Maundy Thursday I visited Coventry Cathedral for the first time. All was ready for Good Friday. I was researching for my book on WW1 and the cross of nails couldn't seem more right.

I went to the Good Friday mediation at St Nicholas in Lincoln. The thoughts in my mind were of boys dying in the trenches, children in agony from chemical weapons in Syria, people of all ages starving in East Africa. This seemed to speak to the world of today.

On Sunday I went to a busy Church in Manchester full of people filled with the joy of Easter. This jarred. Whatever happened on the cross did not put an end to death; death still has its sting.

So, what did the cross do? Like the women on that first Easter Day, I am bewildered. I do believe that there is meaning in Jesus' life and death. In his life, he shows us a way to a fulness of living. In his death he stands with all the pain of world.

Perhaps that is all. If it is, it is still vastly more than words of Easter concerned mainly with some sort of personal salvation.