Saturday, April 23, 2011

2011.04.24 Easter Blessing from Unexpected Place

Conventional spiritual wisdom insists that good news about Divinity’s word and action comes from the margins of society and religion. Here is something from the center.

This may top the classic “Dear Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...” response to a child’s query, full of faith and hope, salted with a healthy dose of wariness, too.

An eastering word for an age of agnostic craving.

A six-year-old girl writes a letter to God. And the Archbishop of Canterbury, the only one of a variety of “heads of theology” of various religious traditions in the UK responded. The girl's question: “To God, how did you get invented?”

Dear Lulu,

Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a
difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –

‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were
quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and
thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it
came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own
and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.

Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them
not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in
the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.

But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like
somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the
world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward

And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.

I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on
his behalf. Lots of love from me too.

+Archbishop Rowan

(I credit the Rev. Eliza Kaeton for posting this lovely message from an article in The Church Times by Lulu’s father Damian Thompson, a non-believer, to the Episcopal House of Bishops and Deputies. Brava! )

2011.04.23 Holy Saturday Musing

The Easter Vigil officially begins at dawn. Of course most parishes engage in this amazing all-encompassing liturgy tonight, because God forbid we would be too tired to do the whole thing again on Easter Sunday.

Tonight I will celebrate the ancient story and the dawning of Easter by 9 p.m. Tomorrow I will stay home—and feast.

Today is quiet, rainy, cold, bleak. I'm waiting-in-hope. A wise Jesuit once said to me that Holy Saturday is the day when:

The Father is silent.
The Son is dead.
The Holy Spirit broods.