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  • Easily Pleased?

    Maybe I am easily pleased, I do not know, but I am feeling happy this morning having just ordred some shiny new books from Amazon.  Well, actually slightly grubby secondhand books from Amazon market place, but the feel is still good!

    This week I had an intial meeting with one of my prof. doc. supervisors and am looking forward to meeting the other tomorrow.  The first meeting was good - productive and enjoyable (I promised I'd say something nice ;-) ) and I came away feeling clearer about the way ahead with this year's work.

    Since then I have spent all of about 2 hours playing with library catalogues, 'Athens' to access journals and yummy Amazon to find books to buy.  I am a happy person, waiting for the postie to bring my books and lots of interesting reading ahead.

    And now that my PC is fully upgraded, and Norton 2007 finally behaving properly, my next thrilling task is to investigate the 'Endnote' software which allegedly makes doing bibilographies a breeze...

  • God's Grannies

    We are now almost at the end of our series on Jesus' 'mother roots,' the women in the Matthean genealogy.  I have enjoyed working with the stories and discovering new insights from them.  It was one of those series that could have gone in umpteen directions, perhaps depending on the aims/preferences of the preacher.

    If your thing is (social) justice there is plenty to go at - Tamar being treated like baggage, Rahab and the issues around prostitution, sex tourism and trafficking, etc, Ruth (or at least Naomi) with economic migrancy and (im)migrant labour and finally Bathsheba with all manner of things around marriage, family, adultery.  Indeed any/all of the stories raise intriguing questions about society as a whole and faith communities in particular.

    If your thing is God working beyond our expectations, beyond the church or even beyond professed faith, it's all there.  Foreign women, adulterous relationships, decption - you name it, they do it along the way. 

    You could also use these stories to question some of our nice churchy attitudes - I even found one commentary that said it was fine that people lied, so long as it was for God's purposes - interesting!  Oh, and of course one church member re-defined Rahab's occupation in a way beyond even what Matthew Henry does so unconvincingly! 

    In part, I chose to consider how knowledge of these umpty-great grannies might have influenced/foreshadowed Jesus' own attitudes to marginalised people.  The woman in adultery, the woman at the well, the Roman centurion, the lepers, the tax-gatherers... If you know that your forebears were (or relatives/friends are) refugees, migrants, 'sinners' etc, maybe your attitude is different?

    Now, as the series draws to its close, and because I am running out of time, I am looking at links and parallels between Bathsheba and Mary and between David and Joseph.  Bathsheba does not even get named in Matthew 1, Mary is (according to tradition) 'ever blessed.'  Both women knew great personal suffering, including death of their first born sons.  David, the man 'after the Lord's heart' acts like a right **** while Joseph takes on another 'man's' son.  I'm not going to push the connections too far, that's silly, but it is interesting.

    Gods' "choice" of Grannies for Jesus is as fascinating as you could wish for.  I am glad Jesus' forebears are diverse and 'colourful', I am glad that they include people of many races and statuses, I am glad that they challenge our nice churchy norms.  I am glad, above all, that God is not constrained by our theology, doctrines or expectations.

  • Getting Older...

    Tonight for the first time in 25 years as a Girls' Brigade leader I had to call the police to deal with abusive youths and realised I am getting older...

    ... I was not intimidated by the youths, as I once would have been, and gave them my best icy stare - not very effective in the dark, granted, but it made me feel better...

    ... then when the police eventually arrived they looked about the same height and age as the youths - who had of course left by then!

    I'm getting older!