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Fr Simon Rundell published
one of the best idea for Pentecost on his blog whilst I was on holiday. I found myself in a bar in Rhodes looking up popcorn machines on eBay. When the day of Pentecost had arrived, we were gathered in Holy Nativity Church with the scouts and a load of visitors when there was the sound of a violent air powered popcorn machine and the pop of corn all over the altar.
I hate watching videos of myself. If you want to see it done well, check out Simon doing it himself. He didn’t accuse the first followers of being small and round!
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There is an inherent inner tension that consumes many followers of the way. So many feel the conviction in their beliefs about Jesus but are unsure of how to articulate them to a quizzical world. Surely there must be an easy way to justify our deeply held beliefs? It must be possible to reduce the Christian faith into a suitably strong concentrated form that we can keep in the cupboard like stock cubes. Everyone is looking for something beefy that they can easily unwrap when they need it.
Here Tom Wright subtly reframes the questions people are keen to ask.
Instead of the formulaic reductionism that people seek, Wright frames “the gospel” in the context of something much bigger; the whole story. He sets the life of the Christian within the ongoing narrative of God’s interaction with humanity focussing on the person of Jesus Christ. Can you live with the unending quest for that illusive superficial “cure all”? The easily unwrapped gospel flavouring? Or would you rather focus on something much deeper and richer?
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For the first six weeks of my new role in North Halifax I’ve sounded a bit like a cracked record. As we celebrate the incarnation, we’ve been talking about the incarnate God who steps into the world to bring transformation. The words of Mary in the Magnificat set out the stall for a kingdom where the least in society are held up. At the main celebrations of Christmas I shared Howard Thurman’s poem calling the gathered people to putting their faith in action.
Little did I know that in the coming days I would be amazed to discover that a member of our community was awarded an MBE for just that, a lifetime of work for the good of the community. Archbishop Rowan’s last New Years message is dedicated to encouraging people to “join this silent conspiracy of generous dedication”. This is the work of the local church, a faith in action bringing transformation to the lives of the people we live amongst.
In 2012 we have had a year where the media have been writing their own narrative of The Church (TM) and it is not a story I recognise in the reality of our lives. We need to continue to faithfully tell our story of God who cares so much about the lives of the least that He inspires us to action in the communities we live in.
This is a video that everyone on earth should watch at least once. Most people should watch it often.
When I graduated the first time I couldn’t even tell you who spoke to us, let alone what they spoke about. It certainly didn’t inspire me to go and live life and enjoy the journey. Needless to say, the second time around I graduated in absentia…