Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pinocchio and the Archbishops

After buying Pinicchio from the local charity shop ('Break' on Abbey Manor, good collection of vids and books, the CD section could do with a bit of a boost, if you're clearing out....), watched it with my 4 year old a couple of days ago. I'd never seen it before, and had thought it was all about a wooden boy with a long nose. Not true: the nose growing bit only lasts a couple of minutes, and it's actually full of things like kids smoking cigars and then turning into donkeys, which are then locked into crates and put on a boat to work in the mines. Call me squeamish but I was, at several points, wondering whether letting my daughter watch the film was a wise move. Thankfully she didn't seem to pick up on the scary bits, just as she didn't pick up on the double entendres in Shrek last week.

Strange how you can form a view of how something is going to be, and then reality is very different. Maybe some of that is happening in Tanzania this weekend at the Archbishops meeting. A lot of fairly hardline things have been said and done whilst the various parties were on opposite sides of the globe, but now that they are face to face, reading the Bible and praying together, this is reality time. Whatever impression people had of each other, whatever words they said, now they have to speak face to face. It's often much easier to be uncompromising when you don't have to talk to the people you're not compromising with. That's how Ian Paisley has managed it for so long, 'cos he refuses to talk to his opponents.

There's a bit of wisdom here: only face to face communication is the real thing, and every other form of communication is a lesser form. God's early communication with humanity is walking with us in the garden, which falls apart once we start to hide and shout messages from behind trees, and only with the incarnation of Jesus is face to face communication with God opened up again. All other, lesser communication between Eden and Bethlehem - through law, messengers, acts in history etc., is fulfilled in the face of Christ.

We email, phone, write and blog in a glass darkly, but then face to face. One reason why, for Lent, I'll be blogging just once a week. Less time looking at this screen, more time seeing people's faces. Reality check.


  1. Yeah, and did you notice how their noses kept growing and then shrinking all week. In fact, I have a suspicion that the reason one of them wasn't at the communion service this morning was because he had turned into a donkey.

  2. Which isn't a bad beast to be: they can see angels, and get to carry Jesus. Maybe that should be the subject of their Bible studies. Or put donkey's ears on their mitres.