Well, its Christmas season again and the whole world is running around in a spin for… (sorry, what was it for again?)
And Canute-like, I feel completely incapable of holding back wave after wave of turkeys, santas grottos, Christmas cards and hysterical children ...
and then there's all the things I HAVE to do because...(why does no one tell me why?) like forcing my way through hoards of people in hot, poorly-vented shopping malls to buy pointless tat the other person doesn't even appreciate.
And then there's the Christmas cards. Why exactly do we spend evening after evening writing cards, either to people we have no intention of ever seeing again, or to people we see everyday? And how many of those people could even recall we'd even sent them a card?
And why. why, why must I be actively involved in turning my children into such selfish, materialistic brats for the entire holiday season? I love my kids very much – I think their great, but do they really need to start spending their leisure hours staring, eyes glazed, at Argos catalogues and TV commercials from early October?
And why, when I complain, am I Mr. Scrouge?
Well, we are barely into December and I for one am beginning to drown under it all - Maybe its time to stop ranting at the waves and just accept defeat - the Christmas ocean is coming in whether I rant at it or not, so I might as well enjoy it - so roll on Meadowhall and Brussell Sprouts!! Let the Gluttony Begin!
But for those who want a more serious attempt at working through some of the issues around Christmas, engage are going to the pub to talk about them. Keep 18th December in your diaries and I'll keep you posted about which pub.
Really, is that what its come to ............... is that what we make people feel like.
I hinted in a previous post that that scary word 'evangelism' might look kind of different than it does sometimes. Maybe we need to get back to being a 'light to the nations' which is what the Bible calls God's followers to be. Paul talks about shining as stars. The religious observance (eg fasting) God loves seems to be a bit different to beating each other up or thanking our doctrinal stars that we are on the right side of a certain line.
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."
I can see something in the darkness..... its what we could be, its what we could all be....it looks like.... Good News!
Its not cleanliness that's next to Godliness - surely its creativity.
God is a creator God who finds deep joy in his creation, creation that bears his image and some of his capacity.
So when we create and touch the creative we find echo's of deep resonance in our souls because it speaks of what we are and what we are capable of.
When we see the creation of art and the art of creation we see something of God, something is revealed that helps us understand him and therefore ourselves.
I am not saying its all good, either morally or aesthetically but i love it and I think my faith in the God of the Chriatian story explains that and calls me to explore it.
I would love Engage to engage with art as well as culture.
So anyway all this is a long way round to saying ...
Anyone fancy going to see this band.
They are on at The Plug in Sheffield 13th Dec, their songs are inspired by faith and sometimes it makes me think/feel bigger and smaller which is a good thing because, to bastardize a Blur album, 'modern life is numbing'
engage…open, exploratory, voluntary, not just a talking shop but a springboard for action, moving towards something rather than just protesting against things, starting from where we are with our own perspective, discussing real life questions, no hidden agendas, a dialogue rather than monologue, a safe environment, nobody telling you what to believe, requires nothing of you, except what you want to contribute.