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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

3 March 2010: Bob Slade, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet - Science Professor

Getting warmer...

After this year’s bitterly cold winter, warmer times beckon. Aspects of life are often described in terms of the weather and of warmth, or the lack of it. Events during the past year, such as the MPs’ expenses scandal and the more recent precipitous change of an England Soccer Captain, do seem to point to a winter in those moral and spiritual areas that are central to quality of life - there is an evident longing for warmer times. There is also a continuing blizzard of attacks on religious life, and on faith itself, by those who muddle atheism into the continually evolving set of working models that is science. It would, however, be naïve to expect anything other than the pillorying of religion, a reaction that extends back through Marx and Shakespeare to Chaucer and beyond - the death of religion has never been likely. The reporting of the Pope’s recent plea for protection of religious (and atheist) freedom in the UK was, nonetheless, notably cold.

In “Hide and Seek” getting closer to the person hiding is described as getting warmer. Some consider God to be hidden and difficult to find, and that there is no way to know what He is like or how best to live. The message of the Christian gospel is, however, rather different. God has come to us and revealed his true nature, and also the principles and means for living the fullest and most rewarding life that each of us can – the warmth comes to find us, unless we choose to move away from Him, or to keep Him outside, and stay in the cold. Maybe it is time to take the risk of getting a bit warmer. As stated in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, “Listen, I {God} am standing at the door knocking...”.


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