I’ve said before how Stuart has brought to us the welcoming “space”, one of his favorite words it seems, recalling the Genesis 1 first day of creation in all of its possibilities in God’s warming breath. Stuart has given a very special gift to me in introducing me to Sebastian Moore, an English Benedictine monk and spiritual writer. I’ve been reading and re-reading in an early book of his, No Exit, a 1968 play off of Jean Paul Sartre’s 1944 existentialist drama with the famous line, “Hell is other people”. For Moore the title emphasizes that the Kingdom of Heaven is confined to a life with other people and God. Here is a bit from Moore’s No Exit:
We have become so accustomed to seeing ‘Christ’ and ‘the Jews’ as the two main characters in the drama, set against each other, that we have failed to see that a cynical, spiritually philistine, worldly power involved them together in a common shame.
When I expressed these ideas to my Legion of Mary group an Irish woman school-teacher, by no means enamoured of the new theology, commented: ‘Twenty centuries full of wise and holy theologians, of great hearts and great minds: didn’t any of them get around to this? Even as a child I hated that prayer about the perfidious Jews. Why couldn’t all those men give us anything better?’ A book could surely be written on ‘Questions Christians haven’t asked’. I would dearly like to know of any theologian who has asked the question: ‘if the Jews were “wrong” in refusing Christ as King, what would have been the “right” thing for them to say?’
Stuart calls us to make the space in our midst to wonder, to confess questions, to ask… He poses that question for us to consider now and deeper into Lent, “Questions Christians haven’t asked”. What new confession, another name for creed and prayer and communion, can we begin to ask together?
We don’t have to limit our questions to what the Church can confidently answer. Our questions, instead, are the making of communion here and now and new of church aching to break open into the body of Christ, in you, in me, in us and recklessly all about.
Imagine yourself in the very human moment before Pilate and Jesus and Barabbas, and the question to you, “Who do you choose? Who is your King?” Who do you follow? How do you do that today?
And what are your questions today about Jesus in you and with you and about you and beyond you to serve and…..? Stuart calls us to open the book of “Questions Christians haven’t asked”, and listen to Christ rising in communion with one another, asking, wondering, how God is resurrected in you.