Last night I suddenly found myself thinking about certain people I haven't seen for a long time, and actually don't know all that well. This morning I had an email to let me know one of them was seriously ill, and indeed, a message had been sent out just around the time I thought of them. It amazes me how often (relatively speaking) this happens, but it does. And I assume it is God at work, the Spirit giving me a nudge deep in my subconscious. I just wish I was better at recognising these prompts when they arise rather than identifying them retrospectively!
Back in the day (odd expression isn't it?) when I had a real job, I was really good at taking a proper lunch break, and was a bit of a dragon making sure my staff did too! When I worked from home in Dibley, I used to make lunch and watch Bargain Hunt or whatever was on just to ensure I had a proper break. Moving north, I used to take a daily stroll round the Botanics, even. weather permitting, having a picnic there. Then life took its turn from BC to AD (my very bad joke - from Before Cancer to After Diagnosis) and somewhere along the line I lost my lunch breaks, developing the very bad habit of nipping out, buying a sandwich and returning to my computer.
So... today I reclaim my routine! Lunch Breaks are back!! And as if to confirm that God is happy about this, the sun is shining in Glasgow...
This Sunday, being Low Sunday, my little trot around the endings of the four gospels is focusing on Mark - the one now usually accepted as the oldest - and I will be using all three endings in the order they are listed in the Good News Bible (it fits best with my 'path' I think...). I decided, out of curiosity, to have a look at some other translations both in real hardback form and online - go play, it's fascinating! Some use brackets, some don't; some have original + long, some have original, short, long; some have original long, short... Brilliant! It feeds exactly into my three questions for each week...
Why did the writer choose to end the story the way they did?
What difference would it make if that was the only gospel we had – as would have been the case for most Christians in the first couple of centuries?
What difference does this ending make for our own lives of faith and discipleship?
Given that John (which we used last week) has two endings/editions and Mark has three, we begin to get under the surface very quickly. Luke and Matthew will be a doddle by comparison!
So here're the extra questions for reading John and Mark...
If you only had the 'first edition' (ends at end of Ch 20 for John; shortest ending for Mark) what difference would it make?
Why do you think the writer stopped where they did in the first edition?
Why do you think the extra material was added?
Have fun - I'm loving it!
Been a nice little break from routine - even if a certain furry alarm clock still expects to be fed at 6 a.m.!
Monday - went to see The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists which as ever with Aardman made me laugh and made me marvel at the details. I was pleased that the concerns of Lepra and TLM had been addressed (though the old version of the trailer survives on You Tube) to remove a joke at the expense of people afflicted by leprosy (the joke remained but the context was a random 'plague'... has to be said the people on the ship concerned looked like stereoptypical people with leprosy but maybe if you didn't know you wouldn't make the connection). Great fun. A grand day out, as the saying goes.
Tuesday - met a friend to eat cup cakes in the place near church, then carefully avoided turning into the street to church and walked home. Treated the cat to some 'human' tuna, ham and chicken - she is very happy now. Watched some trash on TV and an interesting documentary about developments in cancer treatment being researched in London. So a nice chilled kind of a day.
Today - went out to purchase the extra walking gear recommended for my Ben Nevis climb, so an expensive but useful day. Decided it was time I finally bouhgt a proper boot bag to replace the supermarket carriers I've been using for donkey's years - and at £4.50 it as embarrassingly affordable! Slightly amused that the cheap head torch I bought today is far better than the expensive one I bought last year... for one thing it actually works!
Back to work tomorrow... still one outstanding day off to reclaim but I think I'll take that next week, otherwise there will be no sermon for Sunday! That and work my way through a Nevis sized mountain of ironing!!
Easter Sunday 2011 Easter Sunday 2012
Pictures may not be so great, being cropped from larger shots... but show just how much has changed (appearance-wise) in the last year