In 2019 SAW released a publication. The publication was the outcome of many months of self reflection and careful consideration, within it’s pages we sought to explore and explain what SAW is, what it has been, and what it aims to be as an organisation. There are several essays within it that explore different aspects of our thinking and practise. We thought it worthwhile to share some of these via our blog, and naturally we thought we’d begin with a foreword.
God is pretty awful if you listen to some religious people. Mean, judgemental, predictable, boring – an almighty narcissist who would be your very last pick for a fantasy ‘Come dine with me’.
Fortunately, that is not the God I believe in nor the God whose life is the foundation of the following pages. The God I believe in creates a universe with the fun artistic extravagance of 100 billion stars in a 100 billion galaxies, with a few supermassive black holes along the way. This is the God who is so concerned with the good of human beings that he becomes local in particular place and time in the flesh of Jesus Christ. This is the God who subverts the expectations of the philosophers and rulers through a cross and resurrection. And this is the God who welcomes those who ignore him and are ignored by society to come and eat a feast which symbolises forgiveness and hope.
You will see such extravagance, creativity, goodness, subversion and welcome in this story of SAW. It is for the people of Shieldfield and beyond, just as it is for people of all faiths and none. It is a place of international significance and strategic importance for it affirms the place of God in every part of the world from art to science, and it affirms the place of the world in the heart of God.
See it and be excited.
Principal of St John’s College and Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University.