How is the Presence working on us? Once again the liturgy gives us three different prods into life. As the sound of portentous thunder begins to diminish, we are being trained to perceive a shape to the One who comes, a shape that is different from the one that our fantasies and our fears have constructed for us.
A hypnotist summons a temporary new conscious self into being by getting us to concentrate on something outside ourselves; he or she then works on the relationships that cause us to think and perceive as we do. In liturgy, the jostling together of the different voices from scripture enables us to continue a journey of rebirth. Our new self is quickened into existence as the Spirit awakens in us someone who we didn’t know we were, but who turns out to be more ourselves.
James Alison is the author of Broken Hearts and New Creations: Intimations of a Great Reversal (Continuum) and a forthcoming adult introduction to the Christian faith, The Forgiving Victim: An Induction into Christian Vulnerability.