>Psalm 78

>He remembered that they were but flesh ………… so the Psalmist (Psalm 78:39) explains the mercy of God and how God excuses the calamities of human history and human nature. Time and again God rescues his people, but repeatedly the people forget God and become so utterly absorbed in their own needs. But “we are but just flesh”.

This is immensely liberating – the realisation by God that we are just flesh. Who else, or what else, could we be? If we were anything else we too would be gods, and as gods, perfect. Perfection is not an option for us – and the imperfections (and the wrong doing) are the occasions for God’s love of us, and our love for each other. Is it right to think that we are loved only because we are imperfect? If we were perfect we wouldn’t be loved as much as worshipped – and we all discover sooner or later that those who are worshipped and given hero status – soon come tumbling from their perch and their feet of clay smash when they come down to earth. Similalry millions of lives are ruined by those who think themselves “gods” with their divine rights.

However, those who know God’s love for them – in spite of the shortcomings of being fleshly – seem to raise their game as a response to the lover. They become sanctified – or as the saying goes, “those who are loved become lovely – those who aren’t become unlovely”.

>Psalm 78

>He remembered that they were but flesh ………… so the Psalmist (Psalm 78:39) explains the mercy of God and how God excuses the calamities of human history and human nature. Time and again God rescues his people, but repeatedly the people forget God and become so utterly absorbed in their own needs. But “we are but just flesh”.

This is immensely liberating – the realisation by God that we are just flesh. Who else, or what else, could we be? If we were anything else we too would be gods, and as gods, perfect. Perfection is not an option for us – and the imperfections (and the wrong doing) are the occasions for God’s love of us, and our love for each other. Is it right to think that we are loved only because we are imperfect? If we were perfect we wouldn’t be loved as much as worshipped – and we all discover sooner or later that those who are worshipped and given hero status – soon come tumbling from their perch and their feet of clay smash when they come down to earth. Similalry millions of lives are ruined by those who think themselves “gods” with their divine rights.

However, those who know God’s love for them – in spite of the shortcomings of being fleshly – seem to raise their game as a response to the lover. They become sanctified – or as the saying goes, “those who are loved become lovely – those who aren’t become unlovely”.

>Leonard Cohen’s anthem

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http://www.youtube.com/get_player

There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in. That’s a line from Leonard Cohen’s anthem – play the video while reading the rest of this. He advises “forget your perfect offering”.

That sounds pretty sound advice to me because there is no perfect offering. I have just returned from a a training event led by Bishop Stephen Platten who is Chairman of the Liturgical Commission. One of the exercises we chose to do together was to devise a liturgy to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS. We decided that there had to be opportunity to confess how the NHS had not lived up to its ideals and that we needed to avoid triumphalism. It’s only when we admit there are problems that we can improve – institutionally and personally. Forget our perfect offering. There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.

I wonder if God designed us as “seconds” – cracks included. Without the cracks what use would be the light of the world?