Posted by: owizblog | April 1, 2019

Thought for the Day, BBC Radio Scotland,1 April 2019

When I was a very new Minister in my first charge, in Wales, my organist, a wonderful lady, generous, dramatic, a force of nature who carried all before her, arrived at my door before nine, declaiming “It’s scandalous, Mr Jones! The council have gone too far this time! What are we going to do about it?”

Forth the story flowed, in indignant spate. I couldn’t even tell you what it was, but it was all around the town, and everyone was outraged. I stood agog, caught up in her indignation, which thundered forth, until suddenly, it spent itself, like a great machine unaccountably losing all its power.

“This doesn’t sound right, does it?” said the redoubtable lady, in faltering cadence. Suddenly, she sagged against the doorpost, and wept with laughter. “No, I don’t think it does…” wheezed I, struggling to breathe for laughing. And then, we remembered the date…

I wanted to start this morning by trying to sell you something totally implausible, to see if I could get away with it. But as I turned over possible April Fool scenarios in my mind – and I came up with some corkers, I can tell you – I couldn’t think of a single one that would work.

Because – we’ve all said it. These are days in which truth is stranger than fiction, the age of “You couldnae’ make it up…” Credulity  and incredulity seem to meet around the back somewhere. Cynicism fuses with gullibility. People who say they believe nothing, because it’s all “fake news”, wind up believing anything…

What is truth? Sometimes, it’s the voice that says “This doesn’t sound right, does it?”  

In John’s Gospel, Jesus stands, a prisoner, before Pontius Pilate, For a moment, the Roman Governor, weighing the accusations brought against this man, finds himself thinking, like my organist, “This doesn’t sound right…”  He  actually asks “What is truth?” But then, he caves, washes his hands, goes with the mob and their “alternative facts”. My organist, too honest, too strong, would never have done that.

Sometimes, “This doesn’t sound right…” is all we have to go on. Thought for the Day this April Fool’s Day? Truth. Pursue it. Don’t settle for less…

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