Lent: 3 short sentences-27

Ok perhaps I should not have posted what I did yesterday, but sometimes I feel that blogs- this one?- come across as too worthy: ‘spiritual’ equated as ‘consistent’, ‘sound’, ‘godly’ etc.

I am very inconsistent: I have ‘high’ thoughts and ‘low’ thoughts and I believe and disbelieve several times during the course of the average day/hour/minute/second.

This then I believe as an article of faith: your blog must never try and portray you as far nicer than God….

Lent: 3 short sentences-26

No deep insights today, but thinking about what I do for a living…….

….one day I would love to have our own house and have some money in the bank instead of living in a place where sometimes replacing a carpet needs a vote or a dread fear settles if a large bill comes in.

I should not moan (but today I am in a moaning mood) – I know I am in the top 5% of the world’s wealth and many people tell me that there is more to life than money and your own home. True: but the vast majority who say that already have all these things…

Just a little dancing

This is not really a Palm Sunday posting…. but just something from the week when I can go over my self imposed 3 sentence limit.

First time in my life that I have managed 2 gigs within 10 days (which leading up to Holy week is some achievement).

Monday just gone, with a good friend to Manchester. Gigs are more than music for me- it is usually the friends I hook up with that make it. This one was no exception.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and what a fantastic night: I am 44, I felt like I was 22 there, but the day after I felt like 88. Around about 1000 people there and I reckon me and my friend were about the oldest; slightly disturbing to find that we were old enough to be parents to most of the audience (although I later found out that alt worship/emerging church networker supreme http://jonnybaker.blogs.com/ was at the same gig, which is a shame as I would love to have hooked up with him).

Incredibly high energy: stage diving and crowd surfing and the first time I have been to an out and out hip-hop gig; although to paraphrase one of their songs, their subject material is a long way away from standard hip-hop ‘guns, bitches and bling’. Nothing quite beats yelling ‘Just a band’ during ‘Thou shalt always kill’.

Also, for a Gen Y crowd, amazing how God still gets a look in; in a vicious Sarah Palin parody by one of one of the support acts and the ineffable ‘Letter from God to Man’ from DlS and SP.

I would definitely go and see them again; just with a nice seat, with the music turned down lower and not so many people…and young man…perhaps you could moderate your language…..I may be getting old…..

(miracle of the web- I saw this on http://www.emergentkiwi.org.nz/ – scroll down to 17/3/10 -a few days before and then I saw her at the gig and spoke to her…. and then e-mailed her band the link)

 

Rampant self publicity

The quotes I used last week were too hard to live with, so for a bit of  a break I have decided to do some rampant self-publicity….

I don’t publish sermons on this blog and I never plan to: I believe a sermon is spoken, local and a particular thing for a particular group of people at a particular time. I know some people like to read them, but I have never fully understood the attraction for committing sermons to paper or the web (unless they are podcasted).

However, I occasionally write articles for the village newsletter that is produced by the churches and goes to every home in the village. Most who read it have no connection with the church. I try to write accordingly. Here is my Easter special. It includes a very old joke…

‘A man breaks into a large house intent on stealing a valuable painting. He quickly locates it and is taking it down from the wall when he hears this voice:

 ‘Jesus is watching you’

 He is startled, but thinks he must have been hearing things, so he carries on.

 ‘Jesus is watching you’.

 The voice is real, so in panic he switches his torch on. The beam falls on a parrot. He watches as the parrot (who according to a plaque on his cage is called ‘Nebuchadnezzar’) says:-

 ‘Jesus is watching you’

 At this he laughs and says ‘How would you know about Jesus? And whilst we are speaking about that, Nebuchadnezzar is a very strange name for a parrot’

 To this the parrot replies:

 ‘True: Nebuchadnezzar may be a strange name for a parrot, but not half as strange a name as Jesus is for a 120lb Rottweiler who likes eating burglars’

 The man hears a low growling and his torch beam falls upon Jesus. Just then he met Jesus and Jesus changed his life.

 I don’t think the early followers of Jesus at the first Easter were very interested in saying ‘good story’ or even ‘I believe that; I really do deep down inside’. They were either heavily deluded or were onto something: the middle course of benign interest was not an option.

 In churches, we gather at Easter to be reminded of the story of the Resurrection to measure up our lives against the life changing nature of Easter: has our faith become passive or something that has the potential to change our lives and communities as it did for the first followers?

 Why not join us this Easter to find out more?

Lent: 3 short sentences-24

‘To this day I have a certain respect for those religious fanatics who stand on street corners. At least they have sense of urgency and passion and live as if what they are saying is true.’

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to someone who was really worked up and passionate about something and wanted to apologise about it: no matter, I said; it is easier to cool down a fire than warm up a graveyard..

(p345 see Sunday’s 210310 post for details)

Lent: 3 short sentences-23

‘Only Jesus would declare God’s blessing on the poor rather than on the rich and would insist that it’s not enough to love just your friends’.

I read so much in my culture, my village, my friends that they are so busy (fall into the temptation myself sometimes) and when I listen it seems to refer to their family, friends, house, holidays, job etc.

I don’t want to live a life that sees ‘me and mine’ as it’s summary and purpose and I want to remember an old friend’s blessing from years ago: ‘Go and be a blessing.’

(p41 see Sunday’s 210310 post for details)

Lent:3 short sentences-22

‘I came to realise that preachers were telling me to lay my life at the foot of the cross and weren’t giving me anything to pick up.’

Why o why do I/we spend so much time preparing worship/ evaluating the goodness of a church through how good/sound/meaningful etc it’s formal worship is?

People often talk about searching for a church with good teaching; we don’t often talk about a church that encourages good acting (ie being an everyday disciple)- I expect that church would not be as popular…

 

(p38 see Sunday’s 210310 post for details)

Lent: 3 short sentences-21

‘It’s what always happens to the saints and prophets who are dangerous: we bronze them, we drain them of their passion and life and trap them in stained- glass windows and icons, confining them safely in memories of the past.’

I’m thinking on this quote and a recent comment on this blog along the lines of how the western church has gained in relevance, but lost in courage. Perhaps Lent is a time to pay attention to the Story and have the courage (without the loveless aggression that is often mistaken for courage) to let it break out of its stained glass…

(p37 see Sunday’s 210310 post for details)