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  • One Story, Four Times

    As part of my prep for Sunday, I've been doing a quick English language based redaction exercise with the story of the "Feeding of the Five Thousand" from all four gospels.

    What struck me is that we usually tell this story in its Johannine form, which differs quite starkly from the other three, notably in the inclusion of the 'small boy' (which could be translated as 'servant').  This has got me wondering quite why this gospel alone has the child at this point, rather than the locations chosen by the writers of the synoptics.  Interestingly, rather than a mere 'object' or 'visual aid' the child has an active role in the story... which makes me more curious as to what John's purpose is here.

    Such commentaries as I have are of little or no help, most just ignore this detail, but I am curious.  Any Bible scholalrs or people with decent commentaries who fancy checking and commenting, I'd be pleased to know.  In the meantime I'm working on my own interpretation, justified or otherwise, that sees this detail as significant within the narrative of the fourth sign.

  • All Revved up and ready...

    The wedding today has, I am told, a purple - and green colour scheme, and there is an underlying theme of knitting (in my address and, as I discovered last night, in the groom's vows).

    There is something fitting in the TT minister knitting a cover for a champagne bottle which will act as a visiual aid for the wedding address.

    I'm looking forward to sharing in this very special day, in the grand surroundings of Glasgow University's Memorial Chapel.

  • And relax...

    Well, at about 4 a.m. tomorrow when a taxi whisks me away to Glasgow airport to start my holiday in Malta!

    It has been a remarkably busy week, lots of meetings, lots of people to spend time with, lots of final preparation to do for a wedding (in just three hours from now) and just generally lots of doing.

    It is actually around six months since I had a proper break, I've had the odd overnight with friends, which has been lovely, but most of my travel and time away has been work or urgent family stuff.  I have a slight concern that I am too tired really to benefit from my week off, that I probably need is a week to sleep first, but hey ho, the die is cast.

    I'm very much looking forward to five days in Malta with one of my oldest friends, which will allow me to relax and unwind before the run up to Christmas gets going.

    And I do get the "bonus" of eight hours in Gatwick airport tomorrow, and another six on the way back!!

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    Time for my annual reminder to all my loyal readers, and anyone who lands here via a search engine or other random redirection, of the importance of being breast aware.  Whether female or male this vile disease can affect you.  Latest UK figures are roughly 50,000 new cases a year including around 325 men.  Or, to put it another way, on average around one woman every 10 minutes and one man a day (a bit more since clinics aren't open in the middle of the night or at weekends!).

    I've told my story more times than enough here, so I won't repeat it.  Suffice to say that checking/awareness almost certainly saved my life as I was well below the age for screening.  Indeed many women where I live seem not to be called for initial screening until they are 53 (a quirk of the system that gives a three year window for this)... as I'm still not that old that's pretty scary.

    And of course it's not just breast awareness - please do whatever screening is offered and be alert to any vague symptoms including unexplained weight loss, coughs lasting more than 2 weeks, breathlessness, changes in bowel habit, unexplained bleeding etc, and get it checked out. 

    It might save your life.  It certainly saved mine.