Here is something I wrote earlier…

I confess: I do not like doing newsletter articles for churches or for anyone really. I have read too many ministerial articles that begin with a phrase like ‘Sitting in my study I see a squirrel climbing a tree:you know, that reminds me of God’. Actually I have written too many articles like that.

I don’t post sermons on here. I think they are unique for that time and place; plus my notes are a mess. I did, however write this for next month’s village newsletter. What on earth do you write for that; do you largely ignore the mass of readers and just address your constituency and use insider language? Or do you preach at people? Both those approaches I believe only make the writer feel good. It is harder to address the mass who may ignore you or think you are irrelevant.

I have a go though; even if sometimes I feel that what I write may be a little ‘drippy’. So I give you a village newsletter article written for 2000 people who may not even read it:-

We are in the middle of a time of national celebration: the Diamond Jubilee and then the Olympics. If you are not giddy already with national celebration then you soon will be.

One of the many things I am looking forward to in the build-up to the Olympics is the rerelease next month of ‘Chariots of Fire’. I remember first watching it and I have watched it many times since. My youngest son frequently watches the final scene if he is looking for inspiration.

The line from the film that I remember the most is the bit where Eric Liddell speaks to his sister about why he won’t stop competitive running to become a missionary. He says ‘I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure’. That has always inspired me; life does not split into ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’-whatever I do can be for the glory of God.

The many athletes in the Olympics and Paralympics will show us the ability to use what they have been given to enthral and entertain us; they may even inspire us, if not to do likewise to at least get fitter!

All of us have something that we have a skill or talent for; I believe that when we use it not only our lives are lit up but others’ are as well. When we do; who knows- maybe we will feel God’s pleasure as well’.

It’s not just music, but….

My 8 year old son keeps finding this clip and playing it, so I have revisited it.

Vangelis would not be my choice of tune, but in this case, combined with the film it works. I loved this film when it first came out and my children love this film. I think it is one of the finest British films ever.

I could play this closing scene over and over again and still end up with a lump in my throat. The phrase ‘When I run, I feel His pleasure’ has been one of the phrases that I often repeat; it speaks to me of a God who is involved in the whole of life, not just the ‘religious’ bits. Initially I saw this film as being about one man’s faith and not working on Sundays. As I have watched it again and again, I find it a real parable of ‘missional engagement’ (sorry, jargon) rooted in its 1920s culture and it makes me think. A lot.

I challenge you to watch without weeping.