Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Journal: don't answer it!

Of That was the command given for tomorrow - no matter who it is, I'm not to answer the telephone!

How that will go I have no idea - but let's let tomorrow take care of itself, eh?

Today has been a day of order, started later than usual as I stayed in bed later than usual and had a gentle start sorting out paperwork and receipts to get the last of the tax sorted. There have been plenty of pastoral things to cope with and I had a couple of visits (to me) and a couple of trips out too. BUT I managed to get a couple films in and finished another book too.

Readings and listening to lectures, sermons, talks, and almost anything is one of my great loves - along with music and writing and playing and singing and ... Let's try that again: Amongst my many loves you'll find reading and listening to the spoken word! Having found a free source of ebooks I have embarked upon a journey which sees me reading around a book every couple of days. I do this in the 'down time' when others around me are sleeping.

The latest has been the reminiscences of an American Baptist pastor and because they are reminiscences, of course, each tale ends with the focus of the story dying - and that gets a little ????

I recall a detention because of my, as usual, cheeky response regarding the monarchs. All I said was, "They were born, they lived, they died; end of story - nothing to see here, let's move on!" But to the history teacher this was akin to treason and so a week of staying behind writing the names of the kings and queens of England was gifted to me.

Today, when I needed the the passages of scripture were close at hand, unlike the monarch's names, and this reminded me, as I reflected, upon the power of words to confer love, life and something more - eternal life. For the written and the living word are more than the name implies - they each have the ability to reach in past the obvious and 'out of nothing' (ex nihilo) make something special happen.

Francis of Assisi never said, "Go and evangelise, use words if you have to," or any other variant of that - it would have been nice if he had but actually mime isn't that strong a medium! I'm sure that those who use the phrase are pointing to acts and works of kindness, but even the image of the cross, without the words, "All this, for you!" and without the understanding of the what and why and who at least make only for an image of torture and death.

It is only by using words that we can qualify or explain - it is only by being with people (why else does God do the 'incarnate' thing?) that other things also take on flesh - and under all this we have prayer (words, whether spine or thought, still worlds).

Words give form and shape and substance - the living word does this no less than the spoken.

But unless we make Him known, how will they hear?

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