Honest Christianity – sometimes we start in the middle

Here we see the spectacular cosmic pairing of the star Hen 2-427 — more commonly known as WR 124 — and the nebula M1-67 which surrounds it. Both objects, captured here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are found in the constellation of Sagittarius and lie 15 000 light-years away. The star Hen 2-427 shines brightly at the very centre of this explosive image and around the hot clumps of gas are ejected into space at over 150 000 kilometres per hour. Hen 2-427 is a Wolf–Rayet star, named after the astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet. Wolf–Rayet are super-hot stars characterised by a fierce ejection of mass. The nebula M1-67 is estimated to be no more than 10 000 years old — just a baby in astronomical terms — but what a beautiful and magnificent sight it makes. A version of this image was released in 1998, but has now been re-reduced with the latest software.

Inspired by the Big Bang Theory and facilitated by Sky Movies, I have started to watch Star Wars from episode 1. Although I have previously seen them all in the order they were produced, I had not anticipated how difficult it would be to start at the beginning of the story. You start, at least you do if you are my age –  by knowing another beginning – episode 4.  So as you watch episde one you know how the characters develop, what they become. The future is set. You think “how can that sweet child become who he does?”

As I theologically reflect I think is this how some of us see our own lives? We know how and where we are now, we know our pasts and can sometimes think the future is set.

Living as a chef in London at 22 working in one of the top hotels in the country, I knew my past and in comparison to what could have been, this was something of an achievement. But I was restless and not sure if this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life but was heId back by past episodes in my life and thought the future was mapped for a struggle of carrying unwanted baggage.  My twenty two year old self would never imagined I would become an ordained Anglican priest working as a children’s hospital chaplain – I avoided going the way of Anakin!

Within in our faith story we also know our beginnings, middle and end. These are the episodes we know out of order, what Jesus was, accomplished and promises for our ultimate future. This is where our security is, not a restrictive pre-written script, but a storyline we can live by for a life in all its fullness.

Picture fromhttp://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html

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