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Don’t Go! 28 March 2017

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Life, Role-Playing Games.
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I can only presume that the daily themes set out for the Bible Society Lent Challenge were chosen some time ago, because today’s word comes with an ironic and rather harsh twist in the light of tomorrow’s expected political developments here in the United Kingdom. A word about stability and rooted-ness. The word for the day is remain!

The verses of the Bible that came to mind come from the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene, immediately before his arrest and all that follows it, particularly verse 38, “Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’” Even though Jesus moves a little way away to pray, he wants the disciples to remain close. On a purely human level there is something of value about human proximity, being with others, that most of us can relate to, even if that being is in silence, or engaged in our own tasks or actions. Conversation is not necessarily required, simply presence. In some parts of the Christian church the practice of The Watch will occur on Maundy Thursday, after the Eucharist and the removal of crosses, crucifixes and decoration from the church, following on from the command given to the disciples. Stay. Pray. Wait.

sad flagAt a political level I will not hide my disappointment and frustration at the outcome of last years referendum that will lead to the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and the UKs hugely retrograde step in leaving the EU. (And yes, I still hope, but obviously don’t expect, that somehow we’ll all wake up from this like it’s just a bad dream). Yet remain still has a value, not just a narrowly defeated position, but in a practical manner. As so many like-minded pro-EU folks around me speak of leaving the UK to it’s folly, I can only look and acknowledge that I have no personal exit route. No available alternate citizenship (other that a heavenly one, a sign of hope in dark times). No sufficiently close blood relatives to enable me to retain the EU-citizenship that I will have stripped from me against my will. This is my country, even if I disagree with government and countrymen. In the midst of all this some of us have to stay at home and keep the lights on, so to speak.

This ties in somewhat surprisingly with my role-playing games. RPG scenarios thrive on conflict, not stability. On dynamism rather than peace. Characters are rarely the ones who stay at home, after all. They are the footloose, the travellers, the adventurers, boldly going where others have not gone before (or at least, have not returned to tell the tale). There is glory and honour to be had in guarding the homestead or seeing off the invader, but the climactic scene so often is not this one, but the one that follows in the pursuit of the foe to their base, their lair, in turn and neutralising that threat. Mythology and heroism rarely laud those who stay behind (and you’ll notice I’ve said rarely, rather than never).

Just as well, perhaps, that we have promises relayed through the Gospel of John, of the God who in Jesus, makes promises if we make our home, abide, remain in him.





1. Hear here | Life, Faith and Role-Playing Games - 30 March 2017

[…] with the last couple of day’s posts (peace, remain, lose), in the political climate of the UK at this time it’s a hard word for me to wrangle […]

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