Saturday, August 18, 2007

Allchin again...


There is a closer relationship between faith in the Virgin birth and faith in the bodily resurrection of Christ than might at first sight appear. Both doctrines affirm the depth of Gods love, the extent of his involvement in the human mass, in the very substance of our human history, its reality of flesh and blood. And both doctrines affirm the potential greatness, the infinite openness of that human history. In the reality of flesh and blood, the eternal is made present and made known. It is not surprising that our own society, with its sense of being held in an iron reign of necessity and death, with its particular difficulty in believing that human life can open out into something larger than itself, finds these doctrines difficult to accept. In some sense, however, this has always been the case, for at all times these articles of faith have brought a judgement on our fallen ways of thinking. They are bound to come to our minds first as a cross and only afterwards as a fulfillment.

Neither Christ's conception nor his rising again is an isolated wonder, unrelated to the rest of human history, to the nature of the universe as a whole. The truth, which is revealed in them, is at the same time situated at the heart of history, at the basis of creation and at the goal of history. All stories of strange or miraculous births, and there are many in legends and mythology of man, hint at the potential of a birth from above, at the mystery of each human life as a new creation, a possible point of intersection of the timeless with time. The birth and death of Christ, given from on high, are a full and perfect confirmation of these half-lost human longings. They are at one and the same time a revelation of the mysteriousness of the divine love which goes far beyond anything the mind could have thought or the heart desired, and also a revelation of the mysteriousness of the human calling and destiny. Planted at the heart of mans being there is an openness to what is beyond him.

From The Joy of All Creation by A. M. Allchin (Cowley Publications, 1984).

[From a post by Vicki K Black in Speaking to the Soul]

The world we live in, caught as it is in the "iron reign of necessity and death," is cold and narrow for so many of us. How can we live with our sisters and brothers in the world around us, and not long to throw open the smudged and curtained windows for them onto the more-than-breathtaking beauty of eternity, the clear light and the golden horizon, the paths that lead forever into wonder? If we could only open our hearts truly to that vision, surely our evangelism would change from a crabbed and lifeless duty to a joyful, glorious privilege?

So often we are blind to the riches we have in Christ - like tramps starving amid heaps of unrecognised jewels - and so we live dry, grey lives, and have nothing to share but dry, grey dogmas, on the very borders of the Promised land; bored at the edge of unimaginable glory.

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