I have been writing one a week since Easter 2011 and they are all still here, should you wish to check them out. But there will be no more. Applicants to take this space over should send a sample 500-word blog to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would hope for an improvement on what has gone before.
Writing down one’s thoughts is very instructive; one learns a lot. I am sure that I have gained more by writing than anyone has gained by reading these blogs. I have learned that, however much the Bible means to all of us, it contains much unhelpful instruction that we routinely ignore: instruction (laws) about eating; about clothing; about slaves; how to acquire them, how to treat them, what happens if one becomes pregnant by her master, etc.; we ignore all these instructions. Whilst we are aware that Jesus seemed to summarise the whole law in just two commandments about love, and criticised Pharisees for adhering to the Old Testament laws, we nevertheless quote those old laws whenever it suits us to support points of view that we cherish. So, although we ignore many commandments, we place great store by others. The Bible has almost nothing to say about life problems that are specifically modern, although much of St Paul’s excellent life-coaching applies quite well to, for instance, email etiquette and motorway driving, where humility and kindness are sometimes in short supply, and where Christians can set an example.
The real truth about Christianity is that it has rarely been tried out. It is too challenging. We have cherry picked aspects of the life of Jesus and ignored much of his direction because we are part of the affluent society and we don’t want to abandon our wealth, just like the rich young ruler. We would, of course, be very happy to see people richer than us brought down a peg or two but actually, wealth gets in our eyes and prevents us seeing in the mirror. Jesus spoke more about money than he did about Heaven and Hell combined. We ignore most of what he said.
So, we must do the best we can within the limitations that our wealth places upon us, recognising that our actions are degrading the planet to the point where it will not sustain human life. I see no reason to blame God for our predicament, we created it and the future is in our hands. The Jews thought God would save Israel before the exile to Babylon, and again before the sacking of Jerusalem in 70AD, but it is now the whole planet at risk. It is hard to avoid this subject and it is a matter of some satisfaction that the environment is a core part of our worship and of our giving these days.
Thank you for reading so far. This is the end. I shall see what awaits me around the corner, and what replaces this blog; it will be good to read someone else’s thoughts. I love you all. Mervyn