Over the last few weeks I’ve been reflecting on the significance and importance of memory in my sermons. I’m also aware that memory can easily be tricked and what one person remembers may not in fact be what happened. You can imagine how difficult it must be for twelve time lords to remember all the facts. However it was interesting waiting to see which popular Drs would be written into the script.
It was interesting watching tonight’s 50th anniversary episode of Dr Who. Even the Doctor was tempted to re-write history. I think in the end he didn’t but he was aware that he would be moving out of the moment of time when he had complete self belief and that he would once again be haunted by the mistaken belief that he had made a bad decision. One which was nonetheless the lesser of two evils . He would be forced to struggle with the thought he had brought about the death of thousands.
Anyway I was stretching my memory back to the very first episode of Dr Who. I remember watching it on the Saturday evening after President Kennedy’s death. I think it was at 5.00pm my mother had the table set out for tea. My sister had a friend round. I wanted to watch the new science fiction series. So I forced my sister Betty and her friend Ruth Pearson to watch it on our black and white television. I remember that the music sounded so distinctive. It was different to anything I had ever heard. Now is this memory perfect no but its there?
Memory is essential to understanding and building our relationships. The Bible has a lot to say about how we go about memorising incidents in our lives with authenticity and integrity. One way that it seems to encourage us to do this is through the use of symbolism. Jacob raises stones to remember and Jesus gives us a meal centred around bread and wine through which to remember him. Remembering feelings that have brought about promises are very important. Symbols help us to recall these promises and feelings.
Now this is a very different thing from worshipping and adoring the symbols. It is one of the great commandments in scripture that we do not bow down and worship symbols. However symbols are reminders to us of the thing they signify. The thing signified say for a community can only make sense through a shared expedience of the signified.
When we begin to talk like this it leads us into the arts .So how does art itself help us express our worship and adoration to God? I think it allows us to express ideas and feelings in such a way that truth can be encountered through a medium that may not necessarily be propositional.
This weekend I’ve had the privilege of performing some of the Bogle Band songs in Concert in Largs. I truly believe that we were able to engage people with issues through a song and a melody in such a way that truth was revealed which might not have been received had I we just used words.
Earlier today my visit to the Barras with Sanctus Media was again revealing as we began to shoot some film around the idea of seeking a gift for a king. I'm endebted to by friend Alan Sorensen for his willingness to appear in the Christmas Movie which will appear on Sanctuary First. I'm also endebted to Fergus Buchanan for taking the time to take some of my ideas and turn them into an amazing film script.
We had some interesting conversations about the story of Christmas with members of the public and a promise to watch the finished product from Jimmy the stall holder. I know he would have been less forth coming in his promises if I had suggested it was a website where he could download a sermon.