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Failure to manifest? 6 January 2017

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Humour, Life, Ponderings.
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think-cloud-freeFor a blog entitled “Life, Faith & Role-Playing Games” my renewed burst of posting over the last month or so has been perilously short on the final category of the trio. At the simplest it could simply be because I’m not actually playing very much at the moment and that Life and Faith are rather more obvious. At one level that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as Life is a prerequisite to the other two and the second is rather necessary for my vocational employment: I’m not too sure how an undead atheist could function in my role… other than slowly, frighteningly and probably rather badly. Nevertheless the previous sentence can still be used as proof that one of the key elements for RPGs, the imagination, hasn’t quite failed me yet.

Two points of imagination, or at least the lateral thinking that enables it struck me in Morning Prayer today, and at least one on my arrival in the kitchen. In Psalm 132 the psalmist remembers the faith of King David and his concern to ensure the presence of the Ark of the Covenant (yes, as in Raiders of …) in the midst of the city of his people, in Jerusalem. The inanimate, totemic object should be there, and indeed the psalmist ascribes to God the statement ‘This is my resting-place for ever; here I will reside, for I have desired it…” With the benefit of hindsight that has not been the case (and theologically there are all sorts of ‘get out’ clauses to explain). But imagination asks the what-ifs, as demonstrated by Spielberg’s film or a million and one other theories.What caught my attention more was the ironic contrast between the hopes and dreams of David with the events of the Nativity and the adoration of the magi in The Epiphany. The holy totem, in the midst of the religious life of the people is supplanted by an infant child, receiving homage from foreigners of great stature, in a provincial town. It’s not something that everyone would notice. In the same way the possibilities of a mere two words in the passage from John’s Gospel hit home. “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptises with the Holy Spirit” (italics mine). To my mind the implication is that John the Baptist may have been expected to perceive the descent of the Spirit on others than just The One, hence the clarification. ‘What did God hold in store for the others?’ I found myself asking.

But despite my intention to focus on the RPGs once again I’ve ended up elsewhere (and you’ve been spared from a passage that felt a little too much like angling for sympathy [somewhere to the right of the old boot and underneath the supermarket trolley] when I re-read it). Instead I’m intrigued by the deeply mystical object that appeared in the Chaplaincy kitchen this week: I need to divine the significance of a jar, formerly used for the containment of instant coffee, but instead holding some cold, milk-less, tea – complete with tea bag! I wonder what esoteric ritual I’ll impact upon when I get round to pouring it down the sink? Raising Atlantis? Summoning the KLF? Or something even weirder?

And, you never know, soon or later that post on Role-Playing Games may yet appear!

 

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