Life illustrating theology…or theology articulating life?

As some readers will know, I ventured into preaching for a Valentine’s special today with some degree of trepidation.  I was wary about treading the right kind of line between offering a critique of the love-fest, but also wanting to promote a positive message. Even the majestic poetry of 1 Corinthians 13 did little to allay my fears.

As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. As part of our service today, we had a visit from the Joel Community Project.  With their practical, accessible, vision for reaching homeless people they anchored the concept of love with more gritty realism and sleeves-rolled-up- compassion than I could ever have done.  After hearing about the project, it was quite hard to tell whether allusions to their work in the subsequent sermon were practical illustrations of Paul’s theology, or theological explanations of what they were doing. Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

A bit like Escher’s engraving below – Still life and shop window (1934), it is hard to tell where the world inside stops and the world outside starts. Isn’t that the way it should be when we preach? If God doesn’t draw a distinction between ‘here’ and ‘there’ or ‘in and ‘out’ – why should we?

On Friday I embarked on a photographic endeavour which I have been meaning to start for some time. Entitled ‘the view from here’, I shall take a photo from the same place at the same time each day for 365 days (albeit not consecutively). The view takes in the interior of the church and the street outside. I wonder which will change more during the year?