The last entry in Ron’s journal, 10 December 2005
This morning Irene and Martin went to the Celtic morning prayer, then on to High Wycombe for some shopping. I slept over my daily readings, and was rudely awakened by two calls, one at the door and one on the phone.
As I read, when I read, my “scrambled egg” brain seemed to reach out and find horizontal connections.
J.B.Phillips, for some days, has been explaining the theme of “The Good News”. What is its real meaning? In three words, “God in Christ”, with its corollary “death only means ‘to be with Christ’”.
In other words the Jesus prayer in John 17 is answered: God, Christ and man are united within God’s eternity – Christ has fashioned the bridge between body / mind and spirit, between time and eternity. It is as simple (and yet as wondrously mysterious) as this. I think of Occam’s razor-sharp warning: why over complicate what is essentially simple? Or in J.B Phillips words “Let us be on our guard against that common tendency to elaborate a simple issue”.
It is the restive rational mind that insists the imposing questions. So when Christians utter the words
“what is going to take you beyond death and into your heavenly home? Christ only Christ! --- If you know Christ there is no reason to fear what lies beyond the grave; he’s already there;”
The rationalist asks for elucidation in terms of mechanism.
But what of the question “what’s going to take me out of the pre-embryonic state into life?” Bishop Jim Thompson, in another of my daily readings, tells of how he was taken to the premature baby ward of a maternity hospital. Having for some time feasted his eyes upon one miraculous “saving action” after another, and comparing what he witnessed with what God does naturally, in the womb, he reflects,
“it seems impossible that all this would be the result of some accident, in random chance of evolution”
And then my mind drifted back to my childhood expectation of Christmas. This was magical! And interpreted in Christian terms, Christmas means “to be with Christ.” The child brain demands no proof of the simple magic of Christmas – the incarnation of Jesus in our hearts.
Both death and Christmas are joy; resurrection into new life.