Pew Sermon for Sunday 4th December

As the years advance, I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with modern culture. For example, I have never heard of David Baddiel. And please forgive me if you already know, that he is a stand-up comic, presenter, screenwriter, and author. He has appeared in dozens of television productions. He is edgy, and no stranger to controversy.

It’s more than likely that one of your favourite television programmes has had some involvement from him, as he has a wide range of interests.

But what caught my eye is the following:

He is a patron of Humanists UK (NOT my favourite funeral folks, I have to say) (just being honest) and describes himself as a 10 out of 10 atheist, and a fundamentalist, Jewish atheist.

And yet. And yet…

… he recently says this. “I wish there was a God” he told Andrew Billen in The Times. “I am desperate for that comfort. I am desperate, because at heart I am awailing load of need, like all human beings. I am a baby at heart. We’re all that at heart. We’re all helpless children.”

Some atheists would deny that, he says, but “that’s just macho posturing”. 

He also met the late Queen Elizabeth II “a couple of times” (how’s that for name dropping?) and said she was very nice. But the “reverence” to which she was treated was “at times quite disturbing… a little bit Orwellian.”

Well, goodness me, where to start? Wikipedia says he is a diehard atheist and humanist by his own admission – and yet le longs to be anything but.

The huge point of interest for me is self-awareness. Being right or wrong in life is one thing; but being self-aware enough to realise one’s own needs, one’s deep longing for God, in the middle of self-proclaimed zero faith, is remarkable indeed.

There are no atheists in foxholes, as the famous quotation goes.

The real, honest cry of the human heart, in the face of the triumphs and disasters of this life, is to wish back to childhood, and earnestly seek the parental protection that will satisfy our deepest longings and fears.

Enter Jesus Christ, stage centre. Jesus, whose very nature and identity are rooted, not only in equality with God, but in the love and protection and deep security of knowing God as Father, and resting in the 100% knowledge that the two are totally in tune in all things.

What is your experience of Fatherhood? Warm, fuzzy and secure? Or a bit uncertain, a bit ambivalent, a bit detached? Not everyone understands the perfection of Fatherhood as it could be – attuned, identifying, and deeply secure. A defining relationship above all others.

Baddiel, I think, does understand this. So does Jesus Christ. The difference is that only one of them has experienced true Fatherhood.

Of course, earthy Fathers will always have some catching up to do, compared to that idyll. Which reminds me of a story:

A four-year-old boy and his father went to the beach. There was a dead seagull lying on the sand. The boy asked his father, “Dad, what happened to the birdie?”

His dad told him, “Son, the bird died and went to heaven.”

Then the boy asked, ‘”And God threw him back down?”

Have a good week everyone, and stay in touch if you can.