A Reader writes
In the past week or so I have been doing a little DIY work - laying some ceramic tiles on a bathroom window sill. It’s all worked out reasonably well. The tiles are all in place, they haven’t shown any signs of lifting or moving - yet! - so we’re all pleased. And anyway, as my son pointed out, the grouting can cover up all sorts of things!
As I’m sure all of you will know, the way to ensure that such an exercise proceeds with reasonable smoothness is to gather around, and to hand, all the materials you need and the tools to do the job, and then to set about making the right preparations for the work itself. All very obvious, and I suppose very simple. Except that it doesn’t always work out that way; if there are cracks, they will show eventually! But get the foundations correct, and the rest of the work will follow without too many problems...
Life is a bit like that, isn’t it? We need to try to ensure that the foundations are in place before we set about life’s tasks so that we can get on with the business of doing things. Preparing to understand what Easter means to us, and the way we approach our lives as Christians, depends on the foundations we have laid.
During these weeks of Lent a small group of us at St Peter’s have been looking at the concept of ‘The Servant King’, aided in our study by a collection of biblical readings and some illustrations depicting various aspects of the theme, drawn from many different cultures and sources. We found that these illustrations prompted us to think both directly and laterally about the idea of Christ, the Servant King, so that we saw Him in quite different ways from those we are used to. ‘Christ driving the traders out of the Temple’, depicted in the painting of a contemporary Nicaraguan artist, suddenly seemed more immediate than the words of the bible story suggest, as did the wonderfully direct picturing of Christ in the desert, face to face with the leering, huge figure of the Devil.
We were being taken down to basic thinking by this series of evening meditations, laying some sound but different foundations for our approach to Easter. The result, we think, is that we are all more aware of the deeper meanings of the familiar themes of this time in the church’s calendar, and perhaps we are all a bit closer to the reality of the meaning of “The Servant King’ than we were before. The foundations have been laid again and strengthened, so perhaps the resulting work in our lives will be the stronger, too.