Posts Tagged ‘Gospel of St John’

John 5

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

My Father works until now — and I too work. (John 5: 17)

Everything we do builds on the past. Our bodies are the products of our heritage, and of age-long evolution; our memories and the capabilities we have learned earlier in life serve us; even our thinking rests on patterns of thought we have grown accustomed to.

This is why statistical predictions are so depressingly accurate. If you move the waste-bin by the entrance to the station concourse, the flow of people will adjust. When the manager decides to put strawberries instead of raspberries on the end of the aisle, sales will go up.

Then there are the things that cannot be predicted. Where does inspiration come from, that helps me to think anew about a knotty problem? What makes me decide to take my loved one a present for no reason at all (assuming it wasn’t on the end of the supermarket aisle!) What makes me give my time to a project no-one will hear about, but which mattersĀ to me?

This could be what is meant by the working of the Father being joined by the working of the Son. Deterministic pictures of scientific evolution share with some dogmatic religious pictures the idea that there is no free will. Then Christ only continues the work of the Father, and everything continues on the track that the Father has set for it. The context for this statement is the complaint made by the Jewish authorities that Jesus has healed a man on the Sabbath day. Of course, the bequest of creation does not stop because it’s Sabbath. However, in the hiatus of the memorial of the first creation, Christ proclaims a new creation — “I too work”. We can experience a faint echo of this whenever we find the power within us to do something new and unpredictable. An audit of the day will show that there usually are not many such moments. Such an audit may also stimulate the desire to bring a few more into the day.