Friday, 6 July 2007

How the Light Gets In: General Synod 2007

That our erstwhile Primate should give Leonard Cohen the last word in his remarks at the opening service of General Synod 2007 in Winnipeg sticks in my mind. The words were:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
They come from “Anthem,” a song on Cohen’s 1992 album The Future. They were delivered in the context of what Archbishop Hutchinson was saying about grappling with moral theology in the serious and potentially divisive issues we face.

Although Cohen is a Canadian icon and no mean poet, and although I appreciate the idea that the light of Jesus can, indeed, get in despite the "cracks" and imperfections in our lives, Cohen is far from a credible authority on matters of moral theology. The title track on that same album begins like this:
Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!


Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.
Not much light getting in through that particular crack.

The crack in the hull of a ship (or nave) is how the water that sinks it gets in. I am uncomfortably reminded of the “unsinkable” Titanic.

And was there the suggestion that a crack (or schism) in our ACC fabric would be a good thing, or is that just me?