London has been up to one thing for years - throwing together the divergent and unlikely and birthing new things as a result. Crashing the poor into the rich, culture into sub-culture, art into architecture, industry into politics, celebrities to the streets and the people of the streets to the stage and screen... and the whole lot thrown into the headlines of our times. What it births is not always easy or beautiful, but nevertheless it conceives the new and brings face to face 'the other’ and us (whomever we might).
London and God have more in common than you might think.
God is the great collision-ist. He is the universal catalyst who consistently births the new from the bringing together of the one with the other. Atoms to atoms. Cells to cells. Body to body. Plant to plant. Person to Person. Community to community. Nation to nations. Natural to supernatural. Heaven to Earth. But God is also able to do this as an act of conversion, bringing together that which is un-holy so that it might become holy. God is able to turn the dark into light and the chaos into order. In fact God puts a claim on all that might be saved into his Holy future. Not just people, but the whole of the cosmos. And holiness is the frontline of God colliding with all things.
2017 years ago a census is called in the middle east and, like myriad threads, the journeys of many began to be woven across the Roman Empire. Then, in a place of forgotten importance, in a family of compromised credentials, in a setting of compromised cleanliness, sewn in for all of history, the jewel of Jesus. The promised Holy Saviour of all the tribes of the world collides with the very fabric of humanity and something begins to change. The Holiness of God is not kept shut away in a hard to reach place, it is sent hurtling into our earthly reality in the life of Jesus. In Him we find that Holiness is closer (and more contagious) than we ever knew and it is here that the threads of all our journeys might converge.
Imagine the journeys that happened to get everyone into London. Individuals, families, whole portions of countries and societies, all threading their journeys from where they were to where they are now. Over 352 different languages are spoken in London, the nations of the world are bound up in our city. Our stories have been stitched across the face of the earth and at the very same time we discover Gods Holiness is getting sewn in able to colour every thread. Where hurt is being healed, where injustice is being converted to justice, where darkness is being brought out into the light, where prayers are being prayed, we can see its glimmer. London is alive with these glimpses of Holy. Twinkling in the light. Sparkling on a hill. Touched by the light, the power and the colour of the hem of God.
So London, Holy?
And may we be on a collision course with Holiness this Christmas, becoming even more dedicated and consecrated to God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.