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  • Back to Blue!

    OK there are around three hours of October left, but I reckon I can legitimately turn my blog back to blue!

  • Things that make you go "hmmm" (Is God speaking...?)

    A lot of things recently are pointing to something I have not yet quite worked out, but I have a sense, a hint, that maybe in it God is speaking.

    At the Baptist Assembly, we had a series of three 'Bible studies' (sermons by any other name) based on the first half of Luke 4.  This interested me a lot as, for the next lectionary year, the gospel is Luke.  Recently I read something that pointed out how Luke/Acts is framed by the context of the Roman Empire (Luke 2... Emperor Augustus/Quirinius; Acts 28... Paul in Rome) that intrigues me and offers something about context.  At the Baptist Assembly the first study/sermon cnetred on the theme of Jubilee which is short through Luke/Acts.  The speaker (somewhat cynically) compared Biblical Jubiliee with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee... I got his point, up to a point, it was too simplistic but yes, what does Biblical jubilee look like.

    One of the other speakers alluded to his own jubilee - he turns 50 this year, as do I, as do lots of other readers of this stuff.  That made me think too.  How do I live my jubilee in a biblically jubilee fashion...  Good question.

    Next year is a 'zero' for our church as we reach the giddy age of 130 (mere children compared with Dibley, but even so, a good age).  I have some ideas of fun ways of marking that, but hmm, yes, a jubilee-filled anniversary; I like that idea.  And it's challenging.

    Back in May I undertook to preach a series on Mission early next year, and as I looked at the lectionary, woo hoo Luke 4 comes early and offers a helpful leaping off point for such a series.  And the diamond as a jewel with many facets is a helpful metaphor for aspects of mission.

    Next summer will be my sabbatical - a concept linked to jubilee - and as part of that I will be spending some time thinking about aspects of how to continue to serve God via the Gathering Place.  Stuff about mission and jubilee and so on...

    I feel quite excited and re-energised to continue what I am called to.

    Not got a clue what it will all look like but, hmmm, maybe God is speaking...

  • I Want One of Those...

    No secret that I have a "big birthday" looming and that I plan to celebrate it with great gusto.

    When I had my 40th, I asked that, instead of gifts for me, people made donations to charities of their choice.  And on the whole they did.  I was really touched at the range of projects supported in celebration of my big 4-0.

    This morning I was buying Christmas cards online from a number of charities close to my heart, and I stumbled across the 'thing' I want for my birthday:

    Reconstructive Surgery

    For £120 it is possible to buy reconstructive surgery for someone affected by leprosy.  Until I had reconstructive surgery myself, I had no idea how significant it is - in my case it is, outwardly, largely cosmetic, though it does help keep my back straight and avoid lop-sided stresses.  But more than the appearance is what it does for the person, restoring confidence, giving hope and possibilities.

    I will be spending money on partying with various groups of friends in various ways, but I will be saving some pennies to buy this gift of hope for someone else.  I kind of hope some of my friends might find it an appealing idea too... (not that they should give £120 each but could maybe club together)