By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

  • Disempowering Jesus?

    This coming Sunday we are at D+1 for our monthly joint service.  Unusually, I am preaching for them.  As has become my practice of late, I am using lectionary readings as my jumping off point.  So we will have Ezekiel 2: 1- 5 and Mark 6: 1-13.

    These are intrersting readings!!

    Ezekiel 4:5 says:

    Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they shall know there has been a prophet among them (NRSV)


    Mark 6:5 says:

    He could do need deed of power there, except he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them (NRSV)


    So that got me wondering - what does it mean when it says that Jesus couldn't do any miracles (apart from a few healings)?  Miracles weren't magic tricks designed to impress, rather they were signs of God's redemptive work.  So what was it that the people did (or didn't) that meant that Jesus could not do that?  How is it that we disempower Jesus?  What do we do that impedes God's redemptive purposes?

    It was in Jesus' home town and among his family that this happened, which got me thinking... if the church is those allegedly closest to Jesus what does that say about us?

    So - what am I going to say on Sunday and how will the Ezekiel words connect?  Hmm....

  • Tent Mission

    No, I'm not talking about one of those big evangelistic rallies that used to happen in borrowed circus tents not yet the 'big top' things at Spring Harvest and the like.  I'm taking about wilderness sojourning of faithful congregations with out a permanent home of their own.  It's all very biblical but not very British!

    After four years of this lifestyle (and with the potential of something similar, if temporary and chosen, a year or two down the line) I have learned that this is a great way of being missional people.  In a couple of weeks another little church sets out on its own wanderings, see here and here. Please pray for this little brave congregation as it meets God and is church in its own wilderness journey.

  • Farewell Discourses

    The end of the school year sees the start of my 'goodbyes' to the people of Dibley and district.  On Friday I go into school for the last time as a Governor and as a local minister.  I will pay my last visit to Four Plus (Foundation) who I have accompanied for about three years during which legislation has impacted dramatically on their work.  Then I will present 'Your move' books to all of year 6 - a gift from Dibley BC made possible from a couple of small legacies last year.

    This morning I've written the newsletter for lunch club which tells them I'm on my way and that the club's 4th birthday lunch will also be my last.  (A lot of four-ness in all of this don't you think?!).  Looking back over the last four years to summarise what we've done has been good - more than a hundred lives touched, outings to cathedrals, cultured cities and the coast, a wedding, several funerals, carol services and songs of praise in sheltered housing... To say nothing of tonnes of shepherd's pie, ham, egg & chips, fish cakes, vegetarian lasagne and peaches & ice cream they've eaten in that time!!  It's been good and, which is more pertinent, it can continue to be good.

    Guess I'd better get used to saying 'goodbye' quite regularly for the next couple of months!

  • Fond Farewells

    This afternoon we bade a fond farewell to our Regional Minister Team leader, Revd Steve Mantle who is heading for South Africa to work for an organsiation called SHINE foundation (there seem to be lots of similarly named organsiations so follow the link to find out more; the home page takes a few moments to load).

    Steve has been a good friend to my little church, and a good friend to me, over many years.  I first met him almost a decade ago when he was a college Governor and I was a rookie ministerial student convinced I was called to urban (not urbane, cheeky reader) ministry.  Ending up in semi-rural Leicetsershire was a bit of a surprise, but kept me in contact with Steve who with our other RM oversaw the NAM reflection groups.  Getting involved with the ministers' conference meant I got to work with Steve a bit, which was always good fun, and it was he who, in due course, nominated me as Regional Rep for the Baptist Ministers' Fellowship.  More recently he has seen me through the joys (?) of settlement and is almost as pleased as I am at the new call I'm about to follow.

    I'll miss Steve, but not as much as he'll be missed by the Association and the Union.

    God speed, good friend.  May your burdens be light and your risks rewarded.

  • I do know stuff after all!

    This morning I have been tracking down references for some of the more vague parts of my paper - courses I took years ago, concepts that are part of me not just head knowledge.

    So here's what I discovered...

    • I once taught at what I now know to be post grad level without knowing it as an industry trainer, ergo I was clever once.
    • I have subconsciously developed and enhanced ideas I learned donkey's years ago, demonstration that I'm a reflective learner but meaning I don't have neat references for the ideas!
    • Once upon a time I was very good at maths!
    • I have actually written some pretty good theological essays over the years

    Some concepts, metaphors and ideas keep on re-emerging in my writing and thinking, whatever the topic.  Ironically despite despising geometric optics in A level physics (sorry Mrs Harris if you're reading) lenses, mirrors, prisms, diffraction, refraction and so on occur over and again in what I write on such diverse topics as possible Johannine anti-semitism, ecclesiology and even historical method.

    Often I feel fikk, but I think that's OK so long as now and then I realise that actually I do know stuff after all!