Faculty members and students of St Mark’s reflect on how we live through a year that has seen fire, hail, and a global pandemic.
This issue offers a range of theological, historical, and biblical reflections on this year of crisis. In various ways, our writers discovered in 2020 “the year of living graciously”. That is, like many Christian people, we’re making halting steps to see again how our daily living can spring from the grace of God.
The suffering-induced conceit that God does not exist becomes, in Andrew Cameron’s piece, a new apprehension of how Jesus’ suffering puts him alongside us in ours. The ever-present suspicion that God’s face has darkened against us becomes, for Andrew Errington, the discovery that God wants us back. Jane Foulcher has rediscovered the excellences embodied in our ecclesial gatherings, made poignant by their absence, and more precious when they surely return. Even where homes have unexpectedly become forms of threat, Geoff Broughton has found new ways in Christ toward our best home. Jeanette Mathews shows how practices of care and cohesion arose from ancient Israel’s experiences of disease, reminding us what makes true community now. David Neville has seen how the incarnate Jesus inducts us into trust, mercy, and gratitude in times of extremity, by Jesus’ attention to a vulnerable one even at Jesus’ own extremity. Michael Gladwin, with the longitudinal wisdom that history gives, shows how calamity has ever been thus, and that God and God’s servants quietly move through and beyond it.
For our representative three students, Aden Cotterill has found again the constant dependability of God; Jacob Traeger is seeing the future now through the lens of hope; and the irrepressible Cathy Baxter has even found a smidgen of joy in Zoom and other technologies (that most mixed of all blessings!).