Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
January 12th, 2011

There’s a story in the Book of Acts, where Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus with warrants in his saddlebag against the members of the small Christian community there - a group of people he had targeted before and come to know well in Jerusalem. Along the way he got knocked off his donkey. He had a vision. He saw the light, as they say. The great persecutor of the church ended up becoming Saint Paul – the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Queer how things work out, isn’t it: When people snap – when they change sides? Consider the case of PC Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer said to have “gone native” while infiltrating one of the more radical Climate Change groups over a number of years.

Personal contact brings with it no end of risks. J. Edgar Hoover never liked to send agents in undercover for any length of time in case they ended up becoming tainted. For “tainted”, read “involved”, “compromised” or even “convinced” – no longer useful, anyway, as a weapon against their opponents.

But as embarrassing as this must be for the police who appear to have lost a case against members of the group because their man wobbled in post, and as distressing as it may be for the Climate Change group to find that one of their number was informing against them all these years, it is nonetheless heartening to know that, in relationships between people over a protracted period of time, we can still be transformed and changed through contact.

I would have a hard time living in a world where people remained so resolute they could not be moved and changed by the power of relationship.

Such apparent weakness may be the key to any number of dreadful situations around the world where people and communities stare across no man’s land at people they’ve been trained or even raised to despise.

an audio link is available for a limited time HERE. TFTD begins at 1:23.27 - halfway along the audio bar

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Baptism of our Lord

This is a small collection of video-clips of a single episode in the Jesus story shown in different ways on big or little screens which I had assembled for some parish project which never happened (or at least hasn't happened yet).

Nonetheless - it's timely - at least today.