jesus lost during papal visit

17 09 2010

When one king visits another, there is usually great pomp and ceremony. As the Pope visits the UK, there is indeed pomp. Wimbledon hasn’t been so excited about a man dressed in white since, well, Wimbledon.  Reporting this visit has provided the media with a conundrum. There is no story without scandal, so we cannot report the visit without ‘balancing’ reporting news (he has come here) with mentioning antagonising words (abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and of course, child abuse). To be wholly neutral – reporting news – might be seen to be unfairly positive. And of course they cannot be wholly negative, despite many people who would like that.

shawly not

I have no particular time for the Pope above others – as far as  I am concerned he, like all of us, is someone who strives to follow Jesus; yes, has been given a high office in an influential church and so deserves attention, but is merely human, and (I trust) does his best to follow Jesus as he sees fit. And therein lies my point – all the reporting mentions words like Catholic, religion, Church, God… yet I have heard no mention of Jesus. One ‘bystander’ on BBC News mentioned Christ, and his love, in a very positive way. Apart from that, I have heard no recognition that the faith we profess is anything other than a religion, a tradition, a belief in some nameless ‘god’. The ‘church’ is simply an institution that directs our opinions, tells us what to think about controversial subjects; even Catholics are never talked about – and rarely talk about themselves – as Christians, but as Catholics. Why is that? And certainly no-one is called a follower of Jesus. Described as in a relationship with him? I think not.

I am proud to be a part of the church, flawed and broken as it is. That church includes the Roman Catholic Church. But our priority of language must not be that of ‘church’, ‘tradition’, even ideology and even simply ‘god’ – we must talk about Jesus. He is who we follow. He puts a face and name to God. He points to the Father. He is why we have a church, which is simply a gathering of people who follow The Way, all flawed, all broken, all in need of grace, and that includes Pope Benedict 16.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if the news spoke less of church, religion, and god, and more of Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Papal visit focused on Jesus, on his kingship and kingdom. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this was Jesus’ state visit and people were forced to unexpectedly take notice of him instead of losing him by the wayside.

It would be amazing, but Jesus would probably ruin the big media moment by arriving on a donkey.

I realise this is not a donkey




5 responses

17 09 2010
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17 09 2010

thank you Kevin – when Jesus returns it will hopefully return to being one church, one following of Christ – no titles, no pomp. I believe that whe He does return, the last place He will want to come to is a church full of gold when His family is starving – He will be among those who trully follow His teaching – not the Sunday Christian or those in their expensive robes who supposedly speak for Him while living in luxury. Oh I could go on, but my ranting wont change this world!

17 09 2010

Which is worse, to arrive on a donkey or to hold up all the traffic on the motorway in a popemobile? I think I would prefer the donkey.

Before we can be united we must first ALL understand that we are all fallible and don’t have anything like a full appreciation of God and the work of Jesus. Our minds are just not able to comprehend him. Whenever leader like Rowan Williams come close to that there is an outcry. We must have the answers. Perish the thought that there can be things qwe don’t know.

I thought Christianity was a spiritual journey by people of the way – riding on donkeys, walking on a pilgrimage, driving tractors, looking after kids who want to break down the Church, feeding the poor. Sorry, how naive of me.

20 09 2010

Watched some of it yesterday with some friends who struggled to understand the significance of the Pope kissing babies as if it would somehow protect their lives. We are in danger of replacing Jesus with someone we can see. If I am honest I struggled to understand it too.

20 09 2010

I know what you mean – I spend some of my time explaining to people that Catholics are actually Christians; then sometimes I wonder how some of their beliefs are compatible with following Jesus as I understand him. It’s a very broad church we inhabit… so broad I guess that it even includes me!

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