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Showing posts from December, 2008

So, farewell 2008

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For the last few years I've used a montage to help churches reflect on the year past, and here is this year's. It's an easier one than in years gone by, the stories this year seem to have been written in marker pen on billboards, rather than in pencil in the margins. A small prize to the first person to corectly identify each person or story here. My prayer for you in this year ahead is that you'd know true prosperity; that you'd have enough to meet your needs, and the needs of those God puts in your way.

In the midst of the darkness

Our prayer for last night's midnight service, as we watched and waited for the light to break forth in darkness: We pray with and for those who this night await the Saviour of the world to be revealed. Lord, in the midst of the darkness, Let your light shine. We pray for the children who will be born this night, in conditions that are hostile, inhospitable, uncomfortable and temporary. We pray for the women and men, whose children will be born in an alien land, in a place they seek refuge, hope, peace. Lord, in the midst of the darkness, Let your light shine. We pray for those who this night undertake jobs unseen by others, who in the midst of their toil and labour, in the humdrum of their everyday life, need a revelation of the divine, and an assurance that they are not forgotten, not overlooked. We pray for those who have no work, who face redundancy, or whose work and financial future seem uncertain and insecure. Lord, in the midst of the darkness, Let your light shine.

For whose benefit?

John & Olive on 2churchmice's blog posted a thought provoking article today. Some readers may know that churches are now required to register as charitees (something many of us have not needed to do until now) and the Charity Commissioners are working aplan to get all churches registered by 2012 (starting with those who have an income of over £100,000 and then working down). One of the areas of concern for many churches has been the need to demonstrate that they have some public benefit, a necessary condition for charitable status. Well, the Commission has published its report into the matter and you can download the .pdf here. John & Olive write (in the midst of a longer and brilliant post): Now the report is out, it looks as if the Charity Commission has more confidence in the transformational power of the Gospel than some Christians, as they clearly state that ‘Charities whose aims include advancing religion do not have to undertake secular activities in addition to

stuff

So, it's been a while since I posted (holidays, church and advent busyness etc.), so today I'll post twice. Below is the results of a couple of evening services reflecting on Habakkuk, and here I'll bring you up to speed with a few things. I have finally got around to watching "Constantine", the Keanu Reeves movie. I thought it was fun, some cool ideas and reflections on heaven, hell, the nature of angelic creatures (Gabriel was brilliantly re-imagined). Keanu is Keanu, he only has one style, but it really did suit this film I thought. I disagree with just about all the theology in it, but love the way that faith stories and ideas can be fodder for a mainstream movie, that there was a lot of theology in it at all was a cool thing. I watched that film on my iPod, the first time I have, and it worked well, I watched it over the space of a couple of days, wherever I could catch 5-10 mins, so in coffee times and those occasional slack moments. The screen amazed my

A Habakkuk Psalm

A few weeks ago I led a 2-part series on Habakkuk in our evening services. The first week was a kind of bird's eye view, looking at the setting in the minor prophets - what they were, why they're often ignored, and why it's important to grapple with them - the situation Habakkuk was writing into, and a brief overview of the book. In the second week we looked at how Habakkuk raises questions about God's compassion, his presence and his judgement. And we saw how God dealt with these questions. Habakkuk's response to the situation he saw with his own eyes, and the conversation he has with God is to write an outpouring of praise, a psalm, meant to be read with passion. Our response to the message, as a congreagation, was to write our won psalm, with people being invited to submit a line, or comment, or scripture. What follows below is a copy of those comments, arranged a little, and is the reult of our reflection on Habakkuk, the world we find ourselves in, and what we