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Hallo again to all.

A longtime friend of ours goes by the pseudonym of Raspberry Rabbit, but he freely admits that underneath his rabbit costume, he's actually Fr Robert J Warren, originally from Québec but since 2003, Rector of St James the Less in Penicuik, Scotland, in the Diocese of Edinburgh. He's someone we've admired since we first met him when he ran the Old Brewery Mission in Montréal. We wish he didn't live so far away from us.

Maxwell's equationsRabbit drew our attention to a review he'd just finished writing of the movie Das Leben der Anderen — The Lives of Others — which won the 2007 Oscar award for Best Foreign Language Film.

We had just finished the challenging task of reading and understanding Rowan Williams' lecture ‘The Bible Today: Reading & Hearing’ when we got Rabbit's email and (after an appropriate amount of coffee and pacing around) read his movie review, and for a brief moment had a glimpse of one little corner of the vastness of God's plan for us. Our understanding then collapsed to its ordinary mortal level of realization that most of this stuff transcends our simple human understanding, and that we just need to take it on faith.

Half a second of something that felt like understanding, and then we reverted back to normal, to our everyday being. We've read news stories about non-Christian or partly-Christian sects that use mind-altering drugs to try to achieve a religious ('spiritual') effect, but we'd never either felt the need to try it or really assimilated what it actually meant.

In our relatively sedate Anglican world, it's probably true that the one-two punch of a complex lecture by the Archbishop of Canterbury followed by a concise revelatory nugget from a brilliant priest is as close as we're ever going to come to mind-altering drugs. The eucharist alters something else inside us, not our mind; well-written, logical prose is, on the other hand, a direct tunnel to the brain. No peyote needed, just words.

The Easter bunnyThis being Easter Season, we've all listened to (or delivered) the usual heavy barrage of scriptural readings and sermons that go along with trying to explain the inexplicable, trying to make the Resurrection make sense, poking at doubting Thomas because he wasn't prepared to believe something that he hadn't personally verified, marvelling at Saul being struck down on the road to Damascus and being healed by Ananias.

The news this week and every week is full of tales of little men who want to be big and powerful, or who have used force or abused power to become big and powerful. From an entirely different movie, Shakespeare in Love, we recall the oft-repeated dialog between Hugh Fennyman and Philip Henslowe:

Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

Indeed: it's a mystery. Like so much else. It's God's mystery, and we're not so vain as to pretend that we understand it or can explain it. After all, 'Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed'.

See you next week. Even if we don't entirely understand.

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Last updated: 22 April 2007

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