Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart. — Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea as a result of people’s actions, so he will make them taste (the consequences of) some of their actions, so that perhaps they will return (to righteousness). — Quran, 30.41; and
The earth lies polluted
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
and few people are left. — Isaiah 24.5–6
Creation groans; and we are part of creation. So let me ask: did this last week frighten you? Like we’re on the edge of a precipice? About to fall into an abyss if we don’t burn to a crisp first?
I’ve been struggling with what to say this Sunday… So many possibilities, but little inspiration. I caught a phrase this morning in a wonderful book of Richard Rohr’s I use, called Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, in which he writes:
We want to plant ourselves in near occasions of grace, yet we spend all our life avoiding near occasions of sin. Can there be situations that we allow ourselves to enter which will force us to reevaluate everything? That is certainly what the Third World did for me. That’s what joining the Franciscans as a young man did for me, that’s what New Jerusalem did for me. You have to find those situations and contexts and ways of looking out at the world, so you will feel and think differently about reality. It won’t come just from sermons and books. We are converted through new circumstances. Grace best gets at us when our guard is down.
(If you buy any book in 2011, buy this one: It’s a treasure.)
I’m pondering ‘near occasions of grace’ in the wake of the flood/kingdom of God as a theme for preaching in two days. Might happen. Might not.
It also reminded me of U2’s excellent song, Grace, from All that you can’t leave behind. Here’s a clip from YouTube:
I’ve mentioned before how I love Spicks and Specks on ABC TV. Which other show would have the Wiggles singing a U2 song?