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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • At Home in Lent - Day 19

    Today's object is spectacles.  Evidently three-quarters of the world's population need to wear glasses, and 90% of over-sixities ought to be using them.

    I've been recognised as being severely myopic since I was ten.  I can remember the first time I went outside wearing glasses and discovered that individual bricks and individual blades of grass could now be distinguished at a considerable distance.  In the last few years, aging effects mean that my short-sight is less severe and some long-sight is beginning to creep in. So now it's varifocals.

    The social history bit of today's chapter is a helpful reminder that, whilst short sight would have been known about in Bible times, means of overcoming it were around a thousand years into the future.  The story of Jesus healing the blind man who, to start with could see vague shapes but no details, would have rung true for many early hearers (and would be me if I went out without my glasses).

    The focus passage today is from 1 Peter and is about spiritual or moral short sight.  If our values affect the way we see the world, and so respond to it, then we need to be aware of them.  It gives me pause for thought to think which lenses I choose to view the world, and how that affects what I see and how I respond.

    Loving God, I know that even 20-20 vision isn't enough unless it is accompanied by the right attitudes and actions.  Help me, as I view the world around me, to look carefully and closely, and to respond with tenderness and grace.  Amen.

  • At Home in Lent - Day 18

    Toothbrushes and cleaning of teeth... the links today as possibly the most tenuous yet, with references to OT commandments limiting retribution, NT challenges to those by Jesus, 'you have heard it ssid... but I say...' and mentions of 'gnashing of teeth'

    The message seems to be, brushing teeth is sensible and has health benefits, not doing so has consequences that can be painful and extreme, ergo brush your teeth.  Choices have consequences, so be careful what you choose.

    Much more interesting was the social history - seemingly 'toothpaste' predates 'toothbrushes' and the Romans even has a law prohibiting the removal of gold teeth/repairs from corpses!

    Law-giving God, sometimes your laws are bewildering, time and culture bound, and sometimes they are eternally true.  Help me to work out which are which, to evaluate the implications of those decisions, and to live wisely and well. Amen

  • At Home in Lent - Day 17

    After the shower, the bath... and some interesting social history and a complete omission of Jewish hygiene rituals that involved bathing/immerision (hence why synagogues often have 'baptisteries').

    Bathing as 'me time,' as pampering as well as cleansing... actually I think that's quite a good focus!

    I'm not good at leisurely bathing... once in a blue moon I'll fill the tub with scented bubbles, maybe light a few candles... and after five minutes, ten at most, I've had enough!  But it doesn't stop me liking the idea.

    So perhaps the thing for me to ponder is what serves in a similar way for me?  Pampering for me is absolutely not about hair or makeup, massage or mindfulness. I'd much rather curl up with a book, listen to music or cuddle the kitties.  Perhaps the challenge is to make the time for these, then.

    God of rest and relaxation, show me what sabbath looks like for me... dare I ask you to pamper me with your shalom-giving rest?  Perhaps I dare!  Amen.