Mar 1, 2024


Before you correct my use of the maze word with the labyrinth pic let me clarify that this clarification is the point of the post!

First, the context.

Some of the great tales of modern writers: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and a few other notables, are gripping stories, appealing to the healthy human desire for adventure. However most of us will go through our entire lives without meeting a wizard or a hobbit.

These modern tales borrow themes of journey and hope from the scriptures.

And it’s important to note a great difference between these secular epics and the Old and New Testaments; Wizards and hobbits exist only in fantasy. The best tool they have for overcoming human struggle and suffering is magic: that is, things seeming to happen, but not really happening apart from in the pages of fiction or the fantasy of the movie screen.

Human life has all of the same adventure, but our God has entered this human experience to bring us not magic, but miracle. And miracles really do happen.

In this way today’s Old Testament beginning of the Joseph and the amazing technicolour dreamcoat saga is a tale not of fictional distraction but of real hope.

These great Old Testament stories are true sagas, long, complex, detailed accounts of ups and downs across generations.

Unlike the human fantasies the heroes in our Christian tradition are not great earthly leaders, or even wizards and emperors, but God.

And the Joseph saga is one of those great accounts, involving good and bad, wealth and poverty, virtue and vice, life, death and resurrection.

In short, God writes straight with the crooked lines of our life.

And that’s the meaning of the Joseph epic.

That’s the difference between a maze and a labyrinth.

Both have crooked lines heading in every direction, but in the Maze we are lost, puzzled, confused and even anxious, wondering if we will ever find our way to freedom.

The labyrinth is often mistaken for a maze, but a labyrinth is a relaxing place. We just put one foot in front of the other, one breath after another trusting that the pathway, the crooked lines of our life, when lived and walked and breathed in God, leads to the freedom for which we long.

That’s the real and realistic hope of Lent.


FFF IN THE CAFE… Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to john@fff.org.nz Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.  After the gathering send a pic to share on this site.

Join these gatherings:

Saturday 2 March 2024 10.30am – Muffin Break 235 Main Street, Upper Hutt Central. Teresa

Sunday 3 March 2024 (& every Sunday) 12 noon. St Anthony’s Church, 66 Falkirk Ave, SeatounKim

Monday 4 March 2024  10.00am (& every Monday). Moku Cafe. Bush Inn Centre, Waimairi Road,  Christchurch. Trish

Tuesday 5 March 2024 10.00am 316 Waiwhetu Road (California Garden Centre) Lower Hutt. Catherine

Email me to add another: john@fff.org.nz



1 Comment

  1. Your blog ties in nicely with the theme for the Jubilee year 2025 – Pilgrims of Hope.
    Just putting one foot in front of the other, keep breathing and noticing the small miracles of each day.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

a towering witness

a towering witness

I was especially happy yesterday to, along with other priests, receive an email from scriptures scholar Kath Rushton

John on sabbatical

John on sabbatical

a podcast conversation with Triona Doocey asking some challenging questions about my sabbatical weeks.

sabbatical update

sabbatical update

I’m like Thomas. I need to experience Christ. Happy Feast Day to all of us who seek greater maturity of faith

growing up

growing up

Thomas was not doubting as much as seeking; he was expressing the desire of one who truly yearns for adult faith.

another way

another way

Surely the real mortality in our sin is not any particular action or omission itself, but what we do after we realise our sin