Saturday, 12 December 2015

Advent 3: John The Baptist

Our painting today is a modern interpretation of John the Baptist and it's by the wonderful British artist who now lives in Folkestone Dinah Roe Kendall.

She is a exciting new discovery for me and I just love her vibrant and colourful depictions of well known Bible stories in this irrepressible style of hers.  Her book 'Allegories of Heaven' is on my wish list for 2016!

She says the highlight of her career was an exhibition of her work in the chapel at Doncaster Prison.  Apparently it gave her so many opportunities for honest conversation with the prisoners.

Today she depicts John the Baptist pointing to the true light who is coming after him - yet in a sense that light - God's truth and love - has been around for ever.

Our leaflet quotes the German Karl Rahner talking of the 'imperfect messenger' - that was undoubtedly true of John - who even at one stage started to question Jesus' mission and tactics.  It also applies to us - the church - for, of course, we too are imperfect.  Yet, thank God, we can still be used by God to be a signpost pointing others to God's love.

On Thursday last I spoke at an interfaith gathering at the Quaker Meeting House here in Amersham on the subject of light.  A fellow seeker after truth, a Muslim Banker from Canary Wharf in London joined me on the 'platform' and gave a perspective on the subject from an Islamic point of view.  I was so touched by a phrase he used when he said:  When we move one pace towards God - he reaches out and moves ten paces towards us.

In these tense days when our Muslim friends are so terribly misrepresented it was good to share together that evening and what a super thought that God reaches out to us with such generosity of spirit.

John pointed to such a God and we - an imperfect church - seek to do the same.

Best wishes as we move ever closer to Christmas!


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