Sunday, 22 May 2016

God's Satnav

The problem with Trinity Sunday, dear Reader, is that Eileen decides she would like other people to preach.

She stresses that this is not because she struggles for the right words to say, or feels her intellect and spiritual state are insufficient to explain the Holy Mysteries to me It is rather, she says, because she can use the day to judge the theological orthodoxy of other members of the Beaker community.

I need hardly say that this is a Beaker community of such orthodoxy that we were last week feeding jellied eels to the water nymphs of the Lost River Fleet.

However, as is usual on these occasions, Eileen chose the preacher for Trinity Sunday by what she calls "the arrow of God's love". In other words, she threw a Brussels sprout randomly across the dining room last Wednesday to see who it struck. And, alas, it was my eye that received the divinely appointed missile. I suppose at least she has stopped using a dart for this purpose. I believe she may be mellowing.

I have just returned from the sermon debriefing.

Apparently, my analogy that God the Father is like a car taking you on a journey, Jesus is like a friend to talk to on the way, and the Holy Spirit is the satnav, showing you the way was - well, she pondered some fairly technical terms like "tritheism", "subordinationism" and "economic Trinity".  Then instead decided that the word she was really looking for was "drivel".

How, she asked, can the Spirit be God's satnav? For, given the choice, does the satnav not always send you down the wide road that leadeth unto destruction, and does it not moan like anything if instead you take the narrow way less travelled? Does it not land people up Yorkshire dale lanes that you cannot get a lorry through? Did I not once spend three hours driving round Stevenage because the satnav could not understand the roads system? If we trust to the satnav do we not run the risk of landing up in a lake? Are we not, she says, actually more sensible to trust to human wisdom and the Book (eg the AA Road Atlas) and to human wisdom rather than to a satnav?

She may well have a point. Although I confess that if I am lost I would rather the satnav drove me into a lake than that I should stop and ask a passer-by for directions.

But it was Young Keith who gave me the clinching argument. If the Holy Spirit were God's satnav, he said, then wouldn't that imply that the Spirit has the voice of Darth Vader?

I stand corrected.

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