Tomorrow is the first of December and everyone will be opening the first door of their advent calendar. The Church of England has launched Ready Steady Slow, an advent video calendar with different reflections each day leading up to Christmas. The idea is to take time each day to slow down and spend time with God. This video has a little introduction and some words from Richard Coles.
I came across this brilliant image via James Lock’s blog. It is a fantastic piece of work! Very poignant commentary and the photography is stunning!
After a bit of research with my friend Google I managed to track down a bigger version of it here. Eventually (OK, I admit it, it took me about 2 minutes) I managed to trace it back to Joe Miller who has a flickr account here. The photo is here. Joe miller is a film maker and photographer from Denver in the USA. I suggest following the links and taking a look at what he is doing, it’s all quite awesome!
There has been a lot said about the debate between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair. Ian Linden at the Guardian has a good take on this.
Religion creates a framework in which it is possible to love extravagantly, to be a champion of compassion, to sacrifice self-interest and even self, to be a saint. It makes it possible to do the unsafe, to risk, to live on the margins, to allow hope to be the only security, above all to forgive.
Religion it is not so much a “force for good in the world” as an inspiration to strive for, a pursuit of goodness. It holds out the possibility of an alternative world and a new humanity.
The article is well worth reading.
One of the best blog posts I have read contains a “step-by-step plan for how to get more young people into the church”.
This is a fool-proof plan. If you do it, I guarantee that you will attract young people to your church. And lots of other kinds of people too. The end.
Yesterday I blogged about how top advertising execs had said that “If I had to make Jesus relevant, I would apply his teachings to modern life”. As if by magic the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu has been on Chris Evan’s Breakfast show to hammer the point home. Here’s what Chris Evans posted on Facebook later during the day.
You know, I thought I was in quite a good place in my life at the moment after my wilderness years and all that and I am, I’m doing ok, family life is very very good for me.
However, when one has the good fortune to meet someone like John Sentamu, you just realise how much further you can go when it comes to being a better person. Just being around him makes you want to improve yourself, and almost exclusively with regard to what you can do for others.
“What prayers do you say every morning John ?”
“I say very sad prayers to remind me of all the people who need my help much more than I need my help. They teach me not to be self centred and selfish.”
What a fantastically simple mantra and the road to true freedom as a human being.
If I had a hat on, I’d take it off right now. Here’s to J.S. Arch Bish Bash of York.
If you want to hear the BBC Radio 2 interview it is here on iPlayer starting at roughly 2:42 minutes in. What a good way to end the week.