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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008
    Rock of Doubt #3: The further you go from Him, the nearer you get
     
    The further you go from Him, the nearer you get to Him.

    You say goodbye to one Jesus: to the God who once and once alone walked in a human body.

    What is left? Only a man; unique, as all men are, yet typical. All that he can do a man can do. Whether he has or hasn't is another matter.

    What is he doing? Calling you to liberty, to the breaking of all idols that would cower you, including the idol which he has become himself.

    ... they have made another idol out of him, bedangled him with miracles. Blaspheme against this idol, and (they say) you go to hell.

    To find him, you must leave him. Turn your back upon the idol: a strangely seductive idol yet, ultimately, unbelievable. There is something false about that sweet and gentle smile. That crown of thorns has become a diadem, made of real gold and jewels. That invitation to be free has become an imperial command. That manger has become a sepulchre. The Holy Image has become an Iron Maiden: inside it, Jesus, trying to get out.

    Say goodbye to the official Jesus. Talk about it to the man beside you, walking to Emmaus. He is anonymous. If he is God, then so are you.
    - Sydney Carter, Rock of Doubt.