…but I hadn’t realised how long!
I’ve been going to the OBS (the Order of the Black Sheep) for some three years now. It’s interesting seeing the evolution of the Order, as it’s gradually morphed from being a reach-out to the sub-culturally marginalised based around a café to more of a haven for refugees from various other church settings. We do have to joke from time to time that we need to take the kids to a solemn high Mass somewhere so they realise what they’ve got in our 40 minute multi-media gatherings 😉 but seriously it seems to work for them, from time to time they talk about thinks that struck them in the service.
I’ve been musing about belief. I’m becoming more convinced that it’s not that important, at least not in the sense of assent to propositions. I’ve always thought this, but I’ve been more struck of late by how it relates to a position of Christian Agnosticism.
Accepting there are things we cannot know, starting with the existence of God, moving on to Jesus’ earthly life, his Resurrection and Ascension – we cannot know that these occurred, really. We cannot know that the Church has been correct to conclude that Jesus was God Incarnate.
What we can ask ourselves, though, is what these ideas mean to us, and whether we can commit to those ideas. Can we commit to Jesus’ teaching about how we relate to others, about what is truly of value? Can we commit to the idea of a God who doesn’t Lord it over creation from a distance but becomes part of that creation, giving, giving, and giving again? Does the Jesus Story excite us, or at least resonate with us, regardless of the nature of the historical/literal truth of the stories? Do we think that if people related to each other as Jesus advocated it’d be a better world?
It seems to me that we can, indeed, commit to these ideas without declaring an unobtainable position of the historical or literal truth of them. The Eucharist can speak to us of God’s utter giving of himself to us, regardless of our level of convincedness of Jesus’ Godhood or the nature of the elements.