Speaking truth to power
On the premise that Blipfoto is about images that represent important moments of a day, I've chosen to post this picture of the pew leaflet from church this morning. The picture shows Caravaggio's massive painting of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, from the Co-Cathedral of St John in Valetta, which I saw a couple of weeks ago and which came into my head as I was writing the sermon I delivered today. (No, I've not taken Holy Orders - I'm a Lay Preacher and we're in an interregnum so I've had to preach a bit more than usual). The gospel of the day showed Jesus brushing off the death threat posed by "that fox" Herod, and I spoke of how he saw God's purpose for him as more important, and how he longed for the people of Jerusalem, and all that the city represented, to recognise him.
I used the picture to remind us that Herod posed a very real threat, and that he had form when it came to getting rid of inconvenient prophets. And I pointed out that appalling violence against people engaged in religious activity was very much among us, and I thought of Saddiq Khan refusing to hide in the face of anti-Muslim terrorism just as other Londoners had refused to be quelled by Muslim terrorism. And as we later prayed for our Muslim fellow-humans, I felt time fold in the inexplicable way it sometimes does in church. We may develop sophisticated means of disposing of each other, but the dark side of humanity has persisted unchanged over the millennia.
I can't resist posting an extra photo from the wonderfully blue - but chilly - Loch Striven road this afternoon. RFA Port Victoria was tied up at the POL depot, all modern lines and sleek intent against the snowy hills of Argyll.
And I have to thank my pal who printed the pew sheet for me just before she went off on holiday ...