I would send you straight to Bishop James Jones's Thought for the Day on Radio 4 this morning, but it's not posted yet. He took me straight back, however, to hearing this wonderful song again the other day, when Daniel Radcliffe chose it on Desert Island Discs. (I know, such a Radio 4 listener). It's so touching. Listen to it first
Into My Arms Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
I don't believe in an interventionist God But I know, darling, that you do But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him Not to intervene when it came to you Oh, not to touch a hair on your head Leave you as you are If he felt he had to direct you Then direct you into my arms Into my arms, oh Lord Into my arms, oh Lord Into my arms, oh Lord Into my arms And I don't believe in the existence of angels But looking at you I wonder if that's true But if I did I would summon them together And ask them to watch over you Both to each burn a candle for you To make bright and clear your path And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love And guide you into my arms Into my arms, oh Lord Into my arms, oh Lord Into my arms, oh Lord Into… Source: LyricFind
Moments later, we were hearing a man who had emerged safely from intensive care being clapped out of the hospital by the staff and then bearing witness to his experience
there of a very powerful image of Jesus stilling the storm.
Very quickly, Nick Robinson said something like 'All sorts of things can happen when you're on powerful drugs.'. Clearly he doesn't believe in an interventionist God - he didn't even say that today is Good Friday when he announced the date. I was at school with Nick. He came through a horrible car crash when his best friend was killed and he was left with serious injuries. More recently as many know, he has survived life-threatening cancer and made a remarkable comeback to broadcasting.
As James Jones pointed out so poignantly, when Jesus was on the cross he faced the agony of not knowing whether God was abandoning him. He was fully human, he felt his isolation, the searing pain of suffering and the sting of death. He did not know for certain that everything would be alright in the end. And sharing that condition with us he said 'Into your arms, O Lord.'
I'm going to sing that prayer to Nick Cave's tune today.