I stand in a long tradition of grumpy Christians who think we don't need festivals to celebrate key Christian doctrines. We should be doing it all the time. The early church met the first day of the week every week because that is the day when Jesus rose from the grave. So, I don't mind singing "Thine be the glory" at Christmas. And I certainly have chosen "Hark the herald angels sing" in the summer.
Bah, humbug. Or whatever the Easter equivalent is.
You may have heard the news last week of the tragic death of Peaches Geldof, one of the children of Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates. Cause of death is uncertain at the moment, but it looks remarkably like suicide. Bob Geldof's words express the reality of hopeless grief: The family are "beyond pain" he said. One newspaper headline caught my eye.
As usual, I read through the passage before starting my sermon preparation. As I did so, it struck me forcibly that this passage could perhaps be structured in a certain way. I wasn’t sure, but it was a nagging doubt. ‘Wow!’ I thought to myself. If that is true, then it needs to be a centre point of my sermon and I need to let the congregation see how wonderfully constructed this little narrative is. Never mind bookends! I’ve found a chiasm. But it needed work.
Just been flicking through Jeremy Fletcher's Rules for Reverends. Some are laugh out loud funny. Some are remarkably insightful. Some (mostly to do with Anglican hierarchy, I just don't get: E.g. Rural Deans. Not Rural. Not Deans.
Krish Kandiah's new book is really very good. Christianity is full of paradoxes which are not meant to be solved, but properly and reverently held in tension. Krish's book doesn't give you simplistic answers to complex problems, therefore, but encourages us to do more than accept these paradoxes; rather, Christians ought to actively rejoice in them.
We've got almost 200 guys coming to our ministers conferences this spring. I'm really looking forward to it. And just to say.... if you have a bike and fancy a country ride, do bring your bike along. As you'll see, we had fun last year...