Good to be in touch. After the upheavals of 2016, this year is going to be a challenging journey. This is the case not least for those of us who are trying to make sense of where Christian faith, and a church, which is supposed to communicate that faith, stands in the current maelstrom.
Just now, there seem to be two sorts of prophets around in the media – those of doom (Polly Toynbee?) and those of euphoria (Nigel Farage?). I don’t go with either. For me the message of Christian faith doesn’t begin with gloom or elation. It begins with Reality.
It was Evelyn Underhill, writing years ago about ‘the spiritual life’, who first gave Reality a capital ‘R’. Reality is how the world really is and how the world really works. It is the total reversal of alt-facts. Reality is the profound conviction that the world is ultimately in compassionate and caring hands and that it only flourishes if human hands reflect that Reality. But reality also reveals the truth that we keep making an unholy and tragic mess of our side of the bargain.
This blog is about Reality – a God with many names, though Father or Mother is as good as any. It is about a planet s/he has created to embody and express Reality. It is about a world through which s/he is trying to show what Reality means in human terms. It is concerned with what we can learn from our efforts to make faith, hope and love a Reality. It is about how the church might yet become a beacon of Reality in a world of falsehoods and failure.