Thought for the Month (April 2008)
My favourite form of fiction (and I stress fiction) is the detective story. I'm a huge fan of P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and, more recently, of Mma Precious Ramotswe. An evening with Morse, Frost, Rosemary and Thyme, or Lewis, is an evening well spent. I enjoy the sense of satisfaction I experience, even if I didn't guess the murderer. When the story ends, all is well and just.
On the other hand, I really enjoy re-reading favourites – to spend the evening with a Rumer Godden or Elizabeth Goudge novel - or better still with Peter Pan or the Elephant's Child on the banks of the great grey-green greasy banks of the Limpopo river.
As I write this letter we are well into Lent, experiencing with Christ his journey ever onwards to the cross, as Jesus is crucified for all our shortcomings, especially to restore our relationship with God. We have considered again all the clues and realised anew his ghastly death. There's a body.
But like my comfort reading of my well-loved stories, I know the ending. I know what happens, not only "who dunnit", but more "why dunnit".
So now we are past Easter. We have rejoiced recently in knowing that death was not the end. Jesus is alive. He lives – his resurrection body is real. He ate and invited the disciples to touch. But that body is not wholly of this world – he could appear and disappear.
But consider: we know the end of the story. We know that Christ is alive right now and ascended into heaven. But he lives with us in his Holy Spirit. It's wonderful that we live in Resurrection time. Death no more has dominion over us. We know our living Lord.
We can have both the excitement of the "who dunnit" and the relaxing comfort of the well-loved, knowing that Jesus our Lord is active and with us.
All is well. All manner of this will be well.
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