James Blunt’s latest single put me in mind of a few things. At first I was a little frustrated by it, thinking that a ‘bonfire heart’ was not really a very suitable or romantic notion. Who wants a pile of old rotting straw, some broken furniture, last week’s potato peelings and a load of wet cardboard for a heart? Metaphorically speaking of course. But then I thought on it and figured it was probably quite close to the truth. I’m not one for bashing on about how people are so terrible and all that, but there’s no doubt that out hearts, minds and wills do get cluttered with all the debris and detritus that we nuzzle up against in life. And I like the idea that the spark of God can make use of that, not just dismiss it or push it aside, but ignite our clutter and use it as inspiration for life.
I like the BBC’s version of the Passion, which you’ll see in this video. It’s very earthy and ‘real’. You won’t find the crowds quietly sitting on a hillside of calm waiting for Jesus to deliver the next bit for their Bibles. You find it all happening in noisy, dirty, busy streets. Jesus jostled by locals, workers and prostitutes, chatting as he goes, encountering people who are not in any way behaving reverently around him. There is banter and arguments, laughter, frustration and debate. Those around Jesus don’t behave appropriately, they are just muddling along with their bonfire hearts, as we all are.