Prayer for Liverpool
Theology really does matter. As its name suggests, theology is about God (the Greek word Theos means God). But theology is not just about God, it is about the science of what it means to be human. In Christian theology human beings are created in the image of God. We can learn about God by taking humanity seriously. We can learn what it means to be human by taking God seriously. As our world discusses what the new normal could be like, as it tries to recover from the pandemic, it is worth ensuring that theologians are there around the table. As theologians we have something to say that is important.
The real point is that all of us who take God seriously are theologians. All of us who meet together (online as much as offline), where the Word of God is explored in the Liturgy of the Word, and where the Bread of Life is shared in the Liturgy of the Sacrament, are called to be theologians. As theologians all of us have something to say that is important.
So what can we learn by taking humanity seriously? We can see how the image of God bestowed in creation has been dulled and damaged by human disobedience. We can see how the saving grace of Christ holds out the offer for that image to be restored, as our souls feast on the Word of God and on the Bread of Life. All of us who take God seriously have something to say as theologians about what the new normal could be like.
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew, Jesus once again reveals his deep insight into the malaise of the human race. Look at children playing in the market place, he says, learn from the games they play. Some of those games are naïve and innocent, but others can be brutal and damaging. Children can be fickle. Adults can be fickle too. Jesus experienced this for himself when the crowds who shouted ‘Hosanna’ on Palm Sunday changed their tune to ‘Crucify’ on Good Friday. It is worth taking this into account when discussing what the new normal could be like. As theologians we have something to say that is important.
To prepare for this Sunday’s service, I invited those of you who want to do some thinking beforehand to focus on the image of children’s games, just as Aled and Siân are doing in today’s picture. Aled and Siân have chosen the simple by profound game of ‘I spy’ and that game leads them to discover one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith. This picture is from the book, Exploring Why: Bread, which you can read in its entirety here: http://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources/Exploring%20Why%20Series/Bread/Bread%20Short%202016%20WEB.pdf.
Next week the reading from Matthew’s Gospel moves on to Matthew’s collection of parables, and some of those parables are grounded in the experience of agriculture. The image to help us to explore and to reflect on these parables is farmer. You can find out more about that theme here: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We warmly invite you to join us in worship here:
Aled and Siân wish everyone a relaxing and game-filled Sunday.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God