Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Mercy Seat

Spent a very productive couple of hours yesterday with friends Jonathan Evens and Paul Trathen preparing for a course we are running called Living the Story.

Tom Wright has described the Bible as being like a five act play containing the first four acts in full (i.e. 1. Creation, 2. Fall, 3. Israel, 4. Jesus) and the writing of the New Testament as forming the first scene in the fifth act and also giving hints of how the play is supposed to end. We are then called to live in this story improvising our part in the play on the basis of what we know of the story so far and the hints we have of how it will end.  Living the Story is something that Christian artists and writers have tried to do throughout Church history and continue to do today. In the course we will be examining a selection of contemporary uses of the Bible and the Christian story in popular culture and considering whether or not they can be said to be 'living the story'.

One of the artists we will be considering is Nick Cave and here’s a taste of his work. I’ve posted about Cave’s spirituality here.

1 comment:

stripes said...

Always good to have some Nick Cave around near Valentine's day. ;-)

Fascinating stuff, I hope the course goes well.

I went to the South Bank version of the Vienna love songs lecture about 10 years ago, and was absorbed by the notion of love songs being the way we try to fill the void between us and God with language. He also talked about love songs being our hymns to an unknowable God, but whether this was his idea or one developed from Dylan or Cohen I can't remember. (Well it was quite a while ago. Also one of the best nights out of my life, incidentally, part lecture, part gig, and with added Kylie. Wonderful!) Perhaps that's why a good love song, with it's share of ache and duende, has such power.

I find a lot of Cave's writing about Christ and the Bible fascinating - and in the case of his writing about the hummanness of Christ in the introduction to Mark's gospel, inspirational. A pity the local Christian bookshop refused to stock it! The chorus of "Do you love me?" is another incredibly powerful piece of music (well, to me!) with obvious echoes of Jesus and Peter's conversation.

Incidentally, his comments about singing to the "etiolated" Jesus did make me think a little of the "Isn't he beautiful?" chorus mentioned a few posts back.

Thanks for the link to CAVEspers too. It's made my week, even if I can't imagine anyone other than me wanting to do it!

A very happy stripes.