The gospel has many layers

One of the things I find fascinating about the gospel is how it operates on a number of different levels simultaneously.

The Christ. The gospel is first and foremost the story of the Christ promised by God,  who entered history as Jesus of Nazareth. It tells of his life, death, resurrection, and promised return. We might call this the personal or biographical layer.

The Covenant. But widening out, the gospel is also the story of the Covenant between God and Israel coming to its climax. It tells of the inauguration of the kingdom of God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We might call this the political layer.

The Creation. But widening out even further, it is also the story of the Creation coming to its climax. It tells of the inauguration of the new heavens and the new earth, through and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We might call this the cosmic layer.

These three stories – Christ, Covenant, and Creation – all reach their climax together in the resurrection. And the best is yet to come. Good news indeed.

Angel magic and the grimoire tradition

Ive been observing that a lot of the medieval and renaissance grimoires basically boil down to angel magic. Whether we’re talking Kabbalistic, Solomonic, Enochian, or other systems it’s much the same: it’s about summoning and seeking the aid of a plethora of angels by the power of the One who is above all. This gets me thinking about Christopaganism. Rather than locating female-male polarity at the level of divinity, which necessitates a shift to duotheism at the very least, I’m finding an alternative way to integrate Christianity and Paganism is to explore gender polarities at the angelic level whilst continuing to walk an essentially monotheistic path. In a number of systems Michael and Gabriel are correlated to sun and moon, fire and water respectively. I see no reason why they can’t also be correlated with the god and the goddess of the various Pagan traditions, whilst affirming the One who is above all, whom the Hebrews call YHWH, is essentially beyond gender and whilst being the source of ALL gender.

Ancient Irish poem on the Trinity

Three folds of the cloth, yet only one napkin is there,
Three joints of the finger, but still only one finger fair,
Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear,
Frost, snow-flakes and ice, all water their origin share,
Three Persons in God; to one God alone we make our prayer.

Surprised by God

The scriptures record that a frequent response to the actions and announcements of God, through the Messiah and others, was surprise, wonder, and amazement.

The Gospel of Matthew records that the crowds listening to Jesus, “were astonished at his teaching.” Sometimes witnesses were left without words. The Gospel of Luke records that, “astonished by his answer, they became silent,” and later in the Acts of the Apostles we hear “The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless.”

God turns up in surprising ways. Expect the unexpected.

Reflections on Druidic Christology

In his Reflections on Druidic Christology, Rev. Alistair Bate comments that, “As an example of orthodox Christology finding its way into Druidic ceremonial I would like to consider the benediction at the end of the traditional (O.B.O.D.) ritual for Imbolc; ‘May the blessing of the Uncreated One, of the Created Word and of the Spirit that is the Inspirer be always with us. May the world be filled with harmony and Light. ….’ In this case, the writer (probably Chief Nuinn / Ross Nichols, Chief of the Order of Bard, Ovates and Druids and Celtic Orthodox Deacon) was obviously inspired by the opening verses of St John’s gospel.” He then goes on to point out, “A more orthodox rendering of Chief Nuinn’s triadic formula might be ‘May the blessing of the Uncreated One, of the Creative Word and of the Spirit that is the Inspirer be always with us.'” I find I am very much in agreement with this conclusion.

A story about Calum Cille

Isabel Mac Eachainn said that a widow woman at Tabal, Mull, had a cow ill with the tarbhan (swelling from surfeit), and she was wringing her hands and beating her breast to see her beloved cow in pain. At that moment she saw Calum Cille, Columba, and his twelve disciples in their curachan (little boat or coracle), rowing home to Iona. The widow ran down to the rudha (point) and hailed Calum Cille, and asked him to heal her cow. Calum Cille never turned a dull ear to the poor, to the penitent, to the distressed, and he came ashore and made the ora to the white cow, and the white cow rose upon her feet and shook herself and began to browse upon the green grass before her.

Go thou home, bronag, and have faith in the God who made thee and in Christ the Saviour who loved thee and died for thee, and in thine own self, and all will go well with thee and with thy cow.

Having said this, Calum Cille rejoined his followers in the curachan and resumed his journey to Hi. There was no one like Calum Cille, no one, my dear. He was big and handsome and eloquent, haughty to the over-haughty and humble to the humble, kind to the weak and wounded.

No sacred language

Jew believe the word through which God spoke creation into existence was Hebrew. Muslims believe the word through which God spoke creation into existence was Arabic. Christians believe the word through which God spoke creation into existence was Jesus. I think that goes a long way to explaining why Christians have no sacred language.

The beginning of the good news about Donald the Messiah

The Russians Visit the Anointed One

1 After Donald was born in Queens in New York, during the time of Hillary, Russians from the east came to Washington 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born President of the Americans? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When Hillary heard this she was disturbed, and all Washington with her.4 When she had called together all the deep state and teachers of the social justice, she asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Queens in New York,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Queens, in the land of New York,

   are by no means least among the rulers of New York;

for out of you will come a ruler

   who will shepherd my people America.’”

7 Then Hillary called the Russians secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 She sent them to Queens and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard Hillary, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, cheetos and McDonalds. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Hillary, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Mexico

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Fred in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother Mary and escape to Mexico. Stay there until I tell you, for Hillary is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Mexico,15 where he stayed until the passing of Hillary. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Mexico I called my wall.”

16 When Hillary realized that she had been outwitted by the Russians, she was furious, and he gave orders to abort all the boys in New York and its vicinity.17 Then what was said through the prophet Shapiro was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Manhattan,

   weeping and great mourning,

Lady Liberty weeping for her children

   and refusing to be comforted,

   because they are no more.”

Land and biblical theology

An excerpt from Jesus and the Land by Gary M. Burge

“Walter Brueggemann is correct when he suggests that land might be the central theme of biblical faith. “Biblical faith is the pursuit of historical belonging that includes a sense of destiny derived from such belonging.” And if this is so, he continues, land might be a way of “organizing biblical theology.” Brueggemann invites us to think carefully about (biblical) Israel’s experience with land along three trajectories: land promised, land possessed, and land lost. And in each of these categories we can discover the magnificent opportunities found in God’s grace and covenant, Israel’s historical struggles to possess this land in righteousness – to become the sort of people God intends – and the judgment that falls on Israel in the exile when all is lost.”