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"You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” Isaiah 40.9

Irenaus was a second century Turkish Christian, who became Bishop of Lyons in France. He taught that the glory of God consists in a human-being made fully alive and that the life of humanity is to behold God. Why else would the Bible explain that we are made in the image of God? Jesus declared that seeing God is the reward of those who are pure in heart.

Last night we watch the film Last Breath. It is gripping account of a diving accident in the North Sea. It was a case of "all hands on deck" and, amazingly, Chris Lemons was rescued, despite having fallen unconscious. Just as extraordinary is that he suffered no brain damage and was diving again within three weeks!

What struck me was the apparent refusal to acknowledge God. There is a fleeting reference to prayer, accompanied by the familiar disclaimer "I'm not a religious person". There is even a clip from Chris Lemons' wedding, in a Catholic Church. But no recognition that prayers were answered. All the glory went to the crew, who worked together magnificently, yet whose achievements went beyond what any expected.

Spiritual blindness has its own terrifying logic. If there is no God, there can be nothing beyond this life, nor can there be any meaning to the life we have - other than surviving and deriving what enjoyment and satisfaction we can while it lasts. Isn't that a predicament that we all need rescuing from?



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