One of my running routes takes me past Nazareth Gardens and the intriguing ‘Godman Road’ (before coming to an inglorious, red-faced pause at any traffic lights that have the courtesy to stop me at Nunhead Lane).
As a distraction from the boredom of running yesterday, I found myself imagining the planning meeting at which these roads were named. It’s nearly Christmas and one of the town planners is utterly caught up, once again, in the ridiculous, world-changing fact of God, born in Jesus. He gives thanks for his meals by saying a breathless grace to this God who also broke bread, ate, drank. He bellows advent carols to Emmanuel, God with us, and wonders why the stones don’t join in there and then. He looks at his hands and considers, head shaking, the human work that Jesus did with his human hands. He wonders out loud at the pub what God’s human voice sounded like.
And then he goes into work, and they ask for ideas for road names.
They throw some ideas around – flowers? Midlands towns? And then, with a private wink at the Almighty, he proposes, straight-faced, “Godman Road”.
“What does that mean?” someone asks. “What does Brayards Road mean?” he counters. “I just think it’s got a ring”.
The motion carries. Godman Road goes onto the signs and the maps to be noticed by generations of red-faced runners to come.
A Peckham Parable of a town planner so caught up in God’s story, God’s recolonisation of earth by heaven, that he cannot help but join in. Using who he is, where he is, to plant a stake in the ground saying – this earth belongs to the God-Man, Jesus Christ.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3.17