Staggered Vision (Alison, 2005)

Staggered Vision. It’s what we get today in the gospel. In order to begin to make sense of what must be one of the most mysterious passages of writing anywhere, I’d like to try and fill in some of the background context. The background context is best known as Holy Saturday, one of my favourite days of the year. We had it yesterday. I think it’s my favourite day of the year because I’m essentially lazy, and it’s the day when God rests. All the readings and psalms are about God resting. And the reason why God rests is because on Good Friday he accomplished everything, he finished creation. He entered into death and made it untoxic. So on Holy Saturday a great quietness is over the earth, because of course, no-one else knows about this yet. It’s the great quietness of creation having been completed, of death no longer being the enemy of the creatures, but something that can be lived through and in, as part of being a creature. It’s death occupied by God. It’s where he fulfils what he says in Isaiah 25, which we get to hear echoes of in today’s gospel. And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death for ever. (Is 25:7)

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Show Us the Father (Alison, 2005)

God’s not out to get you. He’s not trying to dragoon you into shape. He wants to enjoy you, to dwell with you. So he’s got many mansions, many dwelling places. He’s going to turn you into those dwelling places. Relax. Don’t be paranoid. And don’t think he’s out to get you. I’m going to show you that, by inhabiting death. You see, whenever in John’s gospel Jesus says: “I must go”; or “Where I am going”, this is Johanine code for: “I am going to death. I am going to inhabit death in such a way that it will be an empty trophy, and you will start to see the love, the generosity, the self-giving that went into making that available, so that you need no longer to be frightened of it. That’s because I’m not here to do a magic trick. I’m not here to wave a magic wand so as to “save” you. I’m here because the Father, the Creator, wants to get through to you to involve you in being part of creation from within. He knows that you’re so frightened of dying that you are refusing to take part. So actually, by my inhabiting death for you, the possibility is going to be opened up for you no longer to be frightened; and because of that, to dare to start to create things, and to do even greater works than the ones I have done, because the Creator will be able to work through you, opening up new things that none of you have been able to imagine yet. Many mansions that we don’t know about.”

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