Sunday, 18 March 2012

Rowan Williams At His Best?

Lots has been written about the decision of the AB of C to hang up his crozier in time for a nice quiet Christmas in Cambridge.  I liked best of all the reminder from Skinny Fairtrade Latte about this modest little episode that speaks volumes.

A child had asked her father the ultimate question - who invented God.  It seems a letter was sent to various religious bigwigs, and the archbish replied thus:

Dear Lulu,

Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –

‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.

Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.

But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’

And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.

I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lots of love from me too.

+Archbishop Rowan
I'm thinking of printing it out and sticking it in the back of my Bible.  An extra epistle, The First Epistle of Rowan or perhaps just Lulu.

I like RW a lot.  Not necessarily keen on everything he's said while in office.   Nor am I convinced about every decision he's made. But then, I don't own even agree with everything that I've said over the past ten years, and as for decisions, I've made more than a handful of stinkers.  What's more I think you'll find him saying more and more helpful stuff now that he's free of the demands of the Kentish see.  Most important of all though I have liked having a genuinely, thoughtful, well-informed, prayerful and seemingly godly man leading one of the biggest bits of the church in this country.  And, whatever my wife says, I think we should overlook the eyebrows.


Stephen Lingwood said...

The most impressive academic theologian I have met in my life spent his Sundays teaching Sunday school.

Maybe this should be compulsary?

Anonymous said...

Amen and amen!!

Deborah said...

An inspiring letter and I agree with your observations about RW. I've just finished 'Silence & Honey Cakes' and very much enjoyed it. I think maybe the contemplation and reflection of the Anglicans could teach us Baptists some things about meeting God we've maybe lost.