One of the challenges we have in the Church is that of being engaged with the Gospel and those around us as clergy become increasingly stretched and increasingly ignorant. If we are in the same place with Jesus that we were yesterday then we have effectively gone backward - this is something I have believed almost since I signed up to follow the Christ, because it is so very true - we need to be extending our understanding of the Bible and the way people interpret it and live it out.
Whenever I visit clergy, whenever possible, I have a squint at their bookshelf to see what they're reading (and I ask them too) and the sadness is that many of us stopped reading pretty much about the same time we left college or perhaps finished our curacies. The upshot of this is that we find ourselves becoming stuck in a deepening rut and as we do it's harder to move forward and eventually we fail to see the light!
Someone I engaged with recently told me that they would love to read but are 'too busy'. Another person said that they were happy with their faith as it was and didn't need to be seeking out 'new stuff'!
So I've decided that I'm going to ask everyone I meet what they are reading and what's new before them and try to encourage some dialogue with books and with each other because it's not paper and processes that will win the day but Prayer and people and a keener sense of our calling and relationship with Jesus. And I have decided to review the books I read to encourage others to do the same - and who knows, we might even get a night in the pub for us too?
How will they hear if we don't find God's voice and relay it to others and help them hear it for themselves too?
In other news, today was superb: a bit of admin', Communion followed by home Communions, followed by some pastoral stuff and then at 4pm my day ended and it was me time. Watched a film (White House Down) - visited the Ditch to say thanks for the help on Monday - watched an episode of Wallender and had an early night. A pretty amazing day full of blessing and ending with a tired but content spring in my step. What more can we ask for?
Tomorrow you'll find me on the streets in Tamworth for the whole day as we pick up the 'Dying Matters' awareness week again. Looking forward to loads of interaction and the buzz that people bring. Sublime day in prospect.
Lord, for all that has gone I thank You - for the lives touched, connected to You and the stories heard, I am so very grateful. Lead me on deeper into You. help me to learn new things and to meet new people enthused by the power of Your love and enabled by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to forgive and tolerate as you forgive and tolerate my foolishness.
Hallelujah or what?