Wrestling with Christmas

The City Council was the last straw – claiming/naming Hamilton as Christmas City. “We’ve got the largest Christmas tree in the country” “We’re doing Xmas events all around the suburbs.”
Not unlike “Coke is the real thing” this has the taste of nothing about it.So how should we in the churches respond?

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Apocalypse Not!

I find Marks apocalyptic passage in Chapter 13 hard work. I don’t know whether I’ve picked up the right idea, but it seemed to get a positive response from those who were listening. I’ve used the ideas in the past. NZPres list is having a bit of a discussion about this “End time” stuff, but I’m afraid I can’t find a useful entry point as there is a literalism which is latent in much of what is being written. Of course we don’t go along with the cranks, but…

Nov 11.

The widows in todays readings are not too different from any number of widows I have met over the years – gracious and generous to a fault.
Contrast many grumpy old widowers who get lost when their partner and companion dies, and who close up shop as it were. Broad generalisations I know but widows always seem to have got it as a class, whereas we men struggle with grace because we think it’s wimpy.
That’s not what I preached on, these are just thoughts as I prepare to post last Sunday’s proclamation.
Today’s interview on National Radio of the Rev Kim Dong-Sung of the WCC by Kim Hill addressed the faith issues around greed which is what the reading from Mark is all about.
When will we get it – really?

Sunday 4 November

Warmly affirming. Good words to receive and appreciate, offered to me after this proclamation.
In the back of my mind is Eugene Peterson’s book Eat This Book with the imagery of taking the Word in in such a way that it is incorporated into our thinking without having to think about it.
I particularly like his reference to Rev 10:10 – when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. In other words, the Word while tasting sweet at first has the potential to give us belly ache as we realise its potential to involve us in looking at the world counter to how we and the world really wants to be seen. We cannot easily assimilate what we hear and read.

Sunday 4 November

Warmly affirming. Good words to receive and appreciate, offered to me after this proclamation.
In the back of my mind is Eugene Peterson’s book Eat This Book with the imagery of taking the Word in in such a way that it is incorporated into our thinking without having to think about it.
I particularly like his reference to Rev 10:10 – when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. In other words, the Word while tasting sweet at first has the potential to give us belly ache as we realise its potential to involve us in looking at the world counter to how we and the world really wants to be seen. We cannot easily assimilate what we hear and read.

Beggars in our midst!

One immediate response to this sermon – Had I wandered up Victoria Street lately?
Another was – I still want to judge in some way those who appear as beggars, even though I know they may not have had control of what has happened to them. It just shows how ingrained into our thinking the connection between poverty and fault is.