Tuesday, 26 April 2011

dedicated to a genius

Ten days off, back to work today, just managed, last night, to get my Olympic ticket bids in .... and now the sea of e-mail. Five Live this morning were comparing 1981 and 2011 - technology, e-mail in particular was a feature of the conversation .... tell me about it!
Confession time - easter took me by surprise this year. I know, it happens every year. I know, I'm a Christian Minister. I know, I had Lent to get ready for it. That's just it Lent just didn't happen, spiritually speaking, for me, or so i thought. As someone, not unlike many other evangelical, charismatic, activists, for whom Lent has become a fresh discovery in recent years, this was a disappointment. Admittedly, it's not Lent's fault, all mine, but a disappointment nonetheless.
However, this morning, driving through the Cotswolds, realising my appointments had all been adjusted to reflect Spanish time, I discovered all of Lent was not lost after all. This year, it has to said, this was more down to Gaudi, Picasso and Guardiola, than my traditional companions Peter, James and John.
We went to Barcelona for the beginning of Holy Week. I'd never been before and knew a negligible amount about Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), but he was a genius for whom my awareness, and subsequent admiration, has gone off the scale.
If you ever go, the Sagrada Familia is a must. I always assumed it was the Cathedral, but it's actually a large, yet to be completed, Church. It's described in the guide books as the most unconventional Church in Europe. Construction began in 1882 and they reckon another 20 years should see it completed. Neither of us are Church building people, but Maggie and I spent an absorbing three hours inside this phenomenal construction. Gaudi has succeeded in building something, which is truly, in my opinion, (everyone says you'll either love it, or hate it)  acting as a signpost of the kingdom in the way many Christian architects have strived for. Anyone who can bring over two million visitors a year into an environment where you are intentionally invited to stop, reflect and pray to discover Gaudi's God has my vote.

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