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Epiphany: At the hour of our death… January 6, 2014

Posted by Phil Groom in Death, Life, Theological Reflection.
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SOMETIMES the truth hits you right between the eyes and leaves you reeling. That’s epiphany, I guess, and this was one of those moments for me, especially in this year of 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

From the funeral service of an old soldier:

At the hour of our death, it is to Jesus alone that we have to justify our life. He will not look at our accomplishments, he will look at our wounds, because he came not to be our judge but to be our saviour. No one is so lost that they cannot be redeemed by Christ.

There will be a final reckoning for all of us, of that I am sure: but that reckoning will not be by what we have achieved; rather by the wounds we have borne. So many lives lost, but not one wasted: by human standards, their wounds and the price they paid may well appear wasted; but to the One who sees all and knows all, those wounds are both salvation and healing. Judgement overturned, mercy in its place; or as James the Apostle put it, “Mercy triumphs over judgement.”

If you look back over your life and see only a string of failings, do not be afraid: for the One to whom we must give account does not weigh us up by our successes or failures; he sees the scars inflicted along the way. Do not despair at your failings, gentle reader, and above all do not be ashamed of your wounds: they are your salvation:

He will not look at our accomplishments, he will look at our wounds, because he came not to be our judge but to be our saviour.

Hell: God’s Greatest Dilemma August 20, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Theological Reflection.
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It must be so bloody annoying.

Universe created, evolution ticking along nicely, more or less the way it should — apart from these wretched humans who think they know better, building their stinking cities everywhere and going around slaughtering one another as if there’s no tomorrow.

I mean, what’s a God supposed to do? Wind ’em up and let ’em go, I guess: live now, pay later or something, just give ’em hell.

Neat. All the evil sods who thought they’d got things their own way and spent their lives ruining other people’s all lined up for a bonfire party that’s gonna make a star going nova look like a kid’s firecracker; and they’re gonna be in it, not toasting their bagels on it.

Then what happens?

Some bastard carpenter comes along and blows the door off. Bloody menace: now what are you gonna do with ’em?

Go figure.

(Thanks to my friend @bourach for inspiring me to write this. Bourach, sweetie, you’re not going to hell: the Bastard Carpenter wins over the Angry Deity every time.)

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