Thursday, April 25, 2024

Something greater than me

Our post-Easter break was cut short. Something came up that necessitated the wife and me returning home a day early. Don’t worry, nothing bad happened. On the contrary. We had booked a week in the lovely Herefordshire village of Eardisley. The original intention had been to arrive on Easter Monday and stay until Saturday. But that’s not how it worked out. After the reservation was made it was announced that Paul Weller was due to perform at the newly refurbished Bristol Beacon on the Friday evening. Hence the change of plans.

I’ve been a fan of Weller ever since I was a teenager and he fronted The Jam, followed by The Style Council, and then as a solo artist. He has a new album out this month, called ‘66’ (his age this year, apparently). Back in April he played a series of concerts across the UK to promote his latest offering. At the Bristol gig Weller played a variety of old and new songs, including the first single to be released from his forthcoming album, ‘Soul Wandering’. It’s an intriguing track, full of spiritual yearning. Weller sings, ‘I want to believe in something greater than me’. You’ll find it on YouTube if you fancy a listen.

It seems that even being a successful rock musician has not satisfied the singer’s soul. The idea of believing in ‘something greater than me’ put me in mind of the teachings of Anselm (1033-1109 AD), the great Medieval Archbishop of Canterbury. His writings are an expression of faith seeking a deeper understanding of God and his ways. The theologian proposed that God is, "something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought". He is a perfect being, without flaw or creaturely limitations.

But how could such a God be known that we may believe in him? The Christian faith teaches that God has revealed himself to us through the universe he created by his powerful Word. The world we encounter each day speaks to us of the wisdom, power and goodness of our Creator. Further, God reveals himself by his written Word, the Bible. The pages of Scripture disclose God’s matchless being, mighty acts and righteous laws. Above all, God has revealed himself to us by the Living Word he sent into the world, Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Spirit he has poured out upon his people.

According to the Bible we are lost and wandering, far from God due to sin. Jesus came to bring us back to God by laying down his life for our sins on the cross. Are you also longing to believe in, ‘something greater than me’? Your wandering soul will find rest in returning to the one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is none greater.

* For the May edition of various local parish magazines