About a week ago, if you managed to get away from Garage Sale preparation
you may have seen on the internet and other media
a raging debate about a dress – and what colours the dress is
Let’s see what you think
For many people, there is only one answer –
though not everyone’s answer is the same.
For me, it is a white and gold dress.
For some people, it is a blue and black dress.
For some people, it is one, but then when they look back it is the other.
And for many people it seems to depend on what you put around it –
surround it with some colours and it is one,
surround it with other colours and it is something else.
I find it quite astonishing that no matter what I do,
I cant see the dress as the same colours as other people.
For me, nothing seems to make the dress anything other than white and gold.
For us as we come to this time of gathered worship,
things probably look one particular way – as obvious as the gold and white dress is to me.
For others they probably seem quite obscure, or quirky
And for others they are probably downright bizarre.
Is that the perspective of time
Or upbringing, or culture?
Is it that we as a church have taken what was a black and blue dress and faded it?
Maybe we aren’t necessarily the best ones to answer that.
When Jesus looked at the work of the Temple
he saw something different from what others saw.
It’s probably accurate to say that most people who were there
saw something that was necessary for them to be able to worship
It’s hard exactly to work out what Jesus saw – or why he saw it –
because the surrounding setting is quite different in the gospels.
In Matthew, Mark and Luke, this story happens right at the end –
It is within a few days of his arrest and execution
In John it is right at the beginning of the gospel story:
one of the very first things that happens.
Some tellings of the story make it seem as if it were a profoundly justice-based action
that there was stealing going on here – a den of robbers.
Some tellings of the story make it sound more as if there is a breakdown
in the way that people could relate with God
and that the Temple had become a barrier, a hindrance rather than a help.
This Lent is a time of trying to re-see, re-focus and re-experience
What are the things that you are certain of in faith –
as certain as I am that the dress is gold and white.
What are the ways of living out a life of faith or values
that may actually be a hindrance to yourself and a justice block to others?
What are the ways that seem to be – without a doubt –
ways of experiencing God
that may simply now be practices, habits and requirements.
A time of re-looking, re-focusing and re-experiencing.
Is God found in places we have stopped looking?
Is God experienced in ways that we have written off or discounted?
Are there things that seem ‘holy’, that may actually be pretty ordinary.
We are invited into a time of re-considering and re-looking.
By the way – the dress is actually black and blue – truly.