Waiting is difficult enough when you know what you are waiting for. It is interminable when you do not. And it can be confusing and frustrating when you either do not really know whether you are waiting or not, or when you realise that what you are waiting for may very well turn out to be something quite different to what you imagine... when (and if) it comes.
Next to efforts to explain Christian trinitarian language for God, it is sermonising on the message of the cross and the meaning of the resurrection that I often find most painful at this time of year.
How, we may ask on Good Friday, can wholeness, deliverance and healing possibly flow from a state execution resulting in the unjust violent death of a good person - one in whom his friends and followers felt they had met divine love at its most tangible and engaging? Simon Barrow explores the troubling mystery at the core of Christian belief, and looks at ways theology can address it intellectually, humanly and practically.
Christians agree that the death and resurrection of Jesus is central to their faith. But as soon as we try to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’, it becomes much more difficult to articulate this belief. Alison Goodlad suggests that the evocation of poet R. S. Thomas is among the imaginative resources that construe meaning with vitality, while 'leaving the reason torn'.
A setting by an 18th century German composer of a translation into his own tongue of a Greek account of the trial and execution of an Iron Age Mediterranean religious radical, performed in a 15th century English church. This cultural, artistic and creative hybrid has enabled Jill Segger to think afresh about the death of Jesus and its meaning.
Having just finished my own initial reflections on the meaning of Easter, as refracted through two connected mini-dramas marked on Holy Thursday, I came across this arresting short piece (if you'll pardon the pun, given its topic) by Nathan Schneider.
The narrative of the trial and execution of Jesus has been subject to centuries of creative re-interpretation, says Jill Segger. A Bach Passion performed in a Cambridge college chapel proved both exemplar of the vitality of the cultural hybrid and inspiration to revisit the source.