Monday, 26 March 2007


It's near the end of the month, and the chore of a parish magazine article comes round again. Little time for the blog, so here's my Easter article, for what it's worth.

You can never go home again. Or as Heraclitus put it, you cannot step into the same river twice, for new waters are always flowing over you. Whether it's pre-Socratic or pop philosophy, it's a truism. There's no going back. We change, the world around us changes, and try or wish as we might, we cannot recapture the past. More importantly, we cannot undo our actions. Whatever we do, or experience, we have to live with the consequences.

Depending on what our experiences and actions are, that fact may be either comforting or depressing. I'm sure that for nearly everyone it's a mixture of both. There are many things we are happy to live with, and many which we could desperately wish undone.

Whichever it is, we must move forward.

As we move towards Easter, it may seem that the very inability to undo what has been done gives the lie to the centre of the Christian message. If Jesus rose from the dead, was God not undoing what had been done? And if he did, in that one special case, what relevance has it for us for whom the river continues to flow?

But of course, the resurrection is not about Jesus coming back to life. The Bible does contain a few stories of people returning from death; Lazarus and the widow of Nain's son for instance. Even these, though, are not truly an undoing of what has happened, any more than resuscitations which take place in operating theatres and accident and emergency rooms. And we hold up none of these as the answer to death itself; they are merely postponements of the inevitable.

Easter is different. It is God's statement that as the river of time flows on, the consequences even of disaster and death may work out in triumph and life. Jesus' resurrection is not a revival, but a transformation. It is the unfolding of the chrysalis within which is discovered the answer to apparent defeat and destruction. Jesus is transformed, and becomes the first to experience the new life of eternity, a life based on this one, but expanded and fulfilled beyond our wildest dreams.

It brings hope even in the face of death, and it brings hope into our ever-changing lives. We cannot go back, but with God we can discover a future which builds on our present experience and action, and transforms it. If we cannot undo what we have done, or revisit what has been visited upon us, we can allow God to take us further into his future, and find there the new beginnings which foreshadow the final resurrection.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Being ecologically conscious is a pain. Now, instead of the immediate, I'm-not-falling-for-that-one satisfaction of throwing unwanted credit card offers straight into the bin, I have to unfasten the envelope and separate the recyclable paper bits from the plastic and other nasty bits. This means that I run the risk of reading the tantalising offer, and maybe even taking it up. Is recycling a plot by marketeers to make us open junk mail?

Monday, 12 March 2007

Beer and salsa

Looking round a few other blogs, I notice the preponderance of moans and groans, so here's a celebration. We were away for most of the weekend to help a friend celebrate her 50th birthday and 10 years with her partner. We arrived at Walcot Hall for a two night stay, and have to recommend the place - it's a "stately home" whose outbuildings have been converted into self-catering apartments. The whole place is littered with art works, antiques and a general air of amiable eccentricity.

Jill and Mike, it turned out, were also celebrating their marriage, so the festivities were now triple. They are part of a salsa band (latin american rhythm, not the sauce) so the main evening kicked off with a deafening roar.

Also recommended are Facers beers. Mike produced two barrels, one of Northern County bitter, and the other of the rather nice Landslide Ale. The basic bitter is much like Boddington's used to taste, which is no surprise considering that the brewer, Dave Facer, was Boddie's head brewer before the Ancoats brewer was taken over and eventually closed.

The beer of the weekend, though, has to be Butty Bach, from the Wye Valley Brewery , which for my money was as near perfect as you can get (though beer is, of course a matter of taste).

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Spam blog!

Apparently, blogger has automatically detected that my blog is a spam blog. That is to say that it has the characteristics of "irrelevant, repetitive or nonsensical text". So much for the high literary quality of my writing.

At least, the couple of days I will have to wait will give me time to think of something worth posting. Perhaps.

Ah - back on again. Damn - still no great ideas.