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  • Sporadic

    Posting is likely to be sporadic for the next month or so due to the nature of clearing, packing, ending, moving, beginning and sorting internet connections near D+300.  I will probably post  the various 'lasts' if only as a way of 'anchoring' the memories of them, but probably not a lot else.

    Today is my penultimate preach at Dibley, the last 'normal' service, and a day that is manic in extremis - an away evening preach, lunch with my musicians and a 50th birthday party all on one day.  Hopefully the stress will offset the calories!

    If it is quiet around here I haven't got bored with blogging just extra busy with other stuff.

  • First class - I don't think so!

    Today I spent my day off sorting out my paper for submission to the university.  It is not the greatest essay I've ever written, but then its learning outcomes and title were not the most inspiring either.  Trying to correlate two very different sets of comments on the draft meant it took most of this week to sort it out - even if it doesn't look that different for 20 hours input, apart from being nicely comb-bound.

    Anyway, the bank holiday meant that it had to be posted today to be sure it would arrive by the deadline which is Tuesday, so slave away I duly did and got to the post office at 4:10 p.m. - fifty minutes before the post goes, phew.  I asked for first class recorded (what the univeristy insist on) only to be told that they could not guarantee it would arrive on Tuesday unless I paid for speical delivery.  Hurumph.

    Once upon a time first class meant same day delivery, so I'm told, and even as a child it was next day.  Then it was next day as a target and two days.  Now - oh well, when we feel like delivering it we will.

    I'm not blaming the post office or even the employees of Royal Mail but there's nothing very first class about 'probably in two days, three over a bank holiday'.  Mutter, mutter, mutter.

    My only consolation is it is cheaper than driving up to Manchester on Tuesday - although that would have given mer three more days to get it right.  Still, the electronic submission today means I really beat the dealine by three days anyway not that I'm paranoid about being late or anything... much!

  • Creating metaphors

    Yesterday I finally got round to preparing Sunday's Ephesians 6 sermon, as part of which I am using some parallels with the clothing and equipment the builders next door use.  It doesn't quite match up but it does a good-enough job.

    As I re-read a commentary the passage, the commentator suggested the list was in the order a soldier would put on/pick up the items - notably observing that once he was holding the shield, he'd have to put on the helmet before he picked up the sword or he wouldn't have a hand free so to do.  Hmm, I thought, I'd put on the helmet before I picked up the shield, so I'm not sure it quite works.  And then I pondered the attributes in the listed order - truth, righteousness, readiness of the gospel of peace (not the gospel as sometimes is said), faith, salvation, word of God.  Is this the order in which the average church would list them? I'm not convinced it is.  So is there a danger of reading far too much into the minutiae of the metaphor and missing the point - I'm sure there is!

    All of this made me wonder, though, how the metaphor was created.  Did the writer have a set of attributes and then match them up to items of armour (and if so how did he get the number of items to match up) or was it done the other way round?  How significant are the parallels with priestly attire, of which commentators make much, and do they inform the order?

    It has made we wonder how I would go about generating a metaphor for aspects of faith or discipleship: which I would include, what parallels I might employ and why.  This very familiar passage did not drop out of the sky fully formed but began as the (albeit God-inspired) ponderings of a real person writing for real readers.

    So, what might it mean to speak of the 'toolbelt' of truth (the truth shall set you (hands) free) or the 'hi-viz jacket' of righteousness (unmissable, reflective stripes of Gods glory perhaps), the 'hard-hat' of salvation etc.?  What is gained and lost by changing the metaphor?  Is a building site a more helpful metaphor than a battle field?  Or just a different one?  The 'cosmic battle' theme that runs through Ephesians doesn't neatly parallel one of building a Kingdom of peace, so I don't think it is that simple... but I will still try to focus my folk to a constructive 'building' approach rather than a defensive 'battle' approach.