“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 1: A New Starting Point
Jn 18:38“What is truth?”
The phrase ‘cutting to the chase’, according to the Internet, ‘originated in the US film industry. Many early silent films ended in chase sequences preceded by obligatory romantic story-lines.’ It thus came to mean ‘getting to the important part, clearing away the extras or additions that made up the plot’. We have (and I write near the end of 2021) been through the strange and often anguishing period of the 2020/21 Pandemic and its associated lockdowns. Church, as we knew it previously, was suspended and became an online experience, an unnatural time forced upon us. In such a time it is easy to lose track of the important parts of what our Faith is all about and so, for that reason, I am going to spend this month refocusing, in what I hope will be a very basic way, by looking at key issues for our Faith.
Pontius Pilate is famous for this throw-away question. I say, ‘throw away’ because the whole sentence is, “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews”. He’s not seriously asking about truth, he’s being cynical. The amplified version has, “Pilate said to him [scornfully].” The fact is we can become blasé about the truth, not think about it, remain ignorant. This month I have the feeling we need a look at what is real, what is reality and perhaps dig deeper than maybe some of us have been before – cutting to the chase, getting to the heart or root of the matter. We need to do this if we are to be real, authentic, trustworthy vessels of the Gospel, with answers for those who question us. (1 Pet 3:15)
I hope, therefore, we may see this as both an equipping time – providing answers, perhaps providing clarity which we may use with those who are not-yet-Christians – and a time for clarifying our own thoughts and ideas to help us focus more clearly on the one we purport to worship.
Ignorance feels a very negative word but it simply means lacking knowledge or information and, I may add perhaps, understanding. From the earliest days of my faith I have always wanted to have answers, to go looking for understanding of Scripture, of the Faith, but when I look around the Christian world today, I wonder if there is such a hunger there? As Solomon wrote, “Get wisdom, get understanding,” (Prov 4:5) and later, “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.” (Prov 8:12) and, “Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.” (v.14) Such are the resources that come when we seek the Lord and hunger after the truth! Each one of those underlined words bear thinking about. So, let’s pray, let’s seek His truth in His word in these days ahead.