London’s 1,300 mile sewerage system is having half a billion pounds spent on it. Designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette following “The Great Stink” of 1858 when there was a massive overflow of raw sewage into the streets, the system now needs new underground chambers. As London grows and the climate produces more flash storms, new storage chambers are required to prevent a 21st century Great Stink.
As we walk the city streets, we’re not normally aware of the effluent flowing beneath us. Nor are we aware, in the normal course of events, of the undercurrents of violence, pain and corruption that lie beneath the surface of our society and, in many cases, of our own lives. Occasionally something happens to reveal them and we have to face their sometimes devastating effect.
The events on a hill outside Jerusalem that we recall today revealed a brutal and cynical aspect of the Judaeo-Roman culture of the time. But Christ’s death also had cosmic significance. It reflected what human beings down the centuries and all over the world have been capable of. It revealed a rebelliousness against goodness, love and God that lies beneath the surface of many people and is part of our culture as well as many others.
The new underground chambers are to store London’s sewage until it is passed to treatment works in Beckton and Crossness. Here it is turned into electricity. Today is Good Friday because Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection is seen as a way of preventing “The Great Stink” of humanity at its worst from overrunning us. Instead our human waste is converted into something purposeful and creative. Let’s today allow the remembrance of those events on Mount Golgotha to remind us both of the harsh realities of our world and the possibility of its transformation.
Read: God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to deal with sin. (Romans 8.3)
Rejoice: in God’s ability to make something creative even out of human failure.
Reflect: Have I ever experienced good coming from evil?
Remember: God’s working creatively now to transform what lies beneath the surface of my life.
Resolve: To let him do it.