Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Barneys Old and New

For those who mightn't be Sydneysiders or SMH readers, the 148 year old building in which my church meets burned down last week.

Earlier, I posed the question about whether buildings mightn't have a place in the eschaton; indeed, what is the place of all human achievement and action when God makes all things new? Can we leave our mark?

When we consider our only source of knowledge about the new world, the risen Jesus, we find that upon him, the actions of humanity had indeed left their mark. His risen body was scarred with human attempts to end him. Interestingly, Mel Gibson's Passion gestured (however briefly) to a risen Christ with holey hands, yet the scourging was gone. Why the nails but not the whip? How could the Emmaus pair have missed a flaggelated man?

But I digress - it is quite a gap from Emmaus to the smoking ruin of Barneys. Not only was it marks of human violence which remained on the risen Christ (rather than human achievement considered in any positive sense), but also, well, Barneys was a collection of stone, glass and wood (not to mention lead, if we're to believe the SMH). Do non-human places and structures have any destiny beyond moth and rust?
More posts on Barneys and the fire: I; II; III; IV; V; VI.


Anonymous said...

On a side note - St Barnaby's was the church that Arthur Stace, "Mr Eternity", encountered God over a cup of tea and a biscuit.