I was reading a reflection on the Mark 14 passage where Jesus was anointed by an unnamed woman. Do you remember the story?
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
The reflection I was reading pointed out something I probably should have known before, but seeing it this time transformed my understanding of what's going on in this passage.
Or rather “The Manger Gift Hypothesis”: What do you See? How do you respond?
This is my go-to Christmas message for new groups of people...
I love Christmas.
The excitement has been building, the traditions are all rolled out of the box, and it’s time for us to watch those classic seasonal films and eat the food that we only ever consider at Christmas... I mean, when else can you justify watching the Muppets Christmas Carol and eating turkey and brussel sprouts (neither of which any of us really like if we’re being honest...)!
And then there are the Christmas specials that come on the TV, both the classics that we’ve loved and watched for years, and the latest seasonal offering produced by our current favourite shows.
My favourite all-time Christmas episode of a TV series has to be, without a shadow of a doubt the Christmas episode of the Big Bang Theory, Episode 11 from Season 2.
For those who are unfamiliar with the show and the characters, the story revolves around a group of geeky male scientists (well, 3 scientists and an engineer) who are ridiculously intelligent yet socially clueless and inept, and their socially gifted yet intellectually inferior female friend Penny. Invariably the episodes revolve around Penny trying to impart useful social practices and common sense to one of more of the men who just don’t get it.
Sheldon is the most socially inept of the 4 friends, and in this clip he is struggling with the concept of gift-giving.
In this episode, titled “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”, Penny tells Sheldon that she has a gift for him for Christmas and Sheldon, though he despises the concept of giving and receiving gifts, knows that the right thing to do is reciprocate the gift with something of equal value, but how does he do that when he doesn’t know what the gift is? And so, he comes up with the “Bath Item Gift Hypothesis,” which is explained, and undone, during this clip.
One last thing you should probably know before we watch: Sheldon doesn’t do physical contact.
"Our Calling" is the vision of the mission of the Methodist Church.
It boils down to how we honour the good news of the Kingdom of God through four areas of our lives:
Here's today's revelation, which I came across in my reading:
Contemplation is the action of be present in the temple.
"contemplation (n.): c. 1200, contemplacioun, 'religious musing,' from Old French contemplation and directly from Latin contemplationem (nominative contemplatio) 'act of looking at,' noun of action from past-participle stem of contemplari 'to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate,' originally 'to mark out a space for observation' (as an augur does), from assimilated form of com-, here probably an intensive prefix (see com-), + templum 'area for the taking of auguries' (see temple (n.1))."
Part one, of what I'm sure will be thousands of confessions of bad habits I have... And why this one is making me think about worship.
This one isn't about my inability to regularly update my website, nor my consistency with producing coherent thoughts or words. It's not one of those deeply personal issues to do with toilet seats or nail biting. This one is all about books.
Even then I'm going to have to narrow it down, otherwise we'll be here all day. I'm not here just to confess my tendency to turn down corners of pages instead of reaching for a bookmark, nor my habit of buying books based on recommendations knowing full well that my "to read" list is more than long enough, nor my tendency to start umpteen books at once.
This one is about my inability to finish a book...
This morning's sermon for my trial service to become a Methodist Local Preacher "On Trial".
While I have been preaching for a while, I'm not officially qualified to preach within the Methodist Church. This is the second level (should I pass following reflection on today's service.).
Tried to do something different with this one. No point in staying with what's safe, or sticking to what I'm good at... The chance for feedback was too good!
"Subject: Merry Christmas”
That’s how the email started…
… And I’ll admit that my heart sank a little.
I’m of the opinion that Christmas doesn’t start until the first Sunday of Advent, and even then I am not convinced that it has really sunk in until I hear “Fairytale of New York” played in public.
The reason for today’s email was to ask for some thoughts on my favourite Christmas song/carol for sharing:
It was a simple enough question really.
"In Jesus' encounter with the woman of Samaria at the well, what does Jesus mean when he talks of worshipping 'in spirit and in truth'? What does that look like for us?"
"Flattery will get you anywhere..." ... Always worth trying I guess.
"A smile that could light up the whole town..." ... Why thank you!
"He could sell water to a drowning man..." ... It's all about the patter.
But it wasn't my flattery, gorgeous smile or patter that worked today...
My first instrument is the drums. I've been playing for nearly 20 years I reckon, and while there's room for improvement, I'm not bad even if I do say so myself.
The thing is, I know my strengths. I know that my style and my playing isn't cut out for the big stages and the big crowds. I can pull it off briefly, but sooner or later I'd get caught out for what I am... And I think what I am is a small-room worship drummer.
The key, I've always been taught and stand by to this day, to being a good worship drummer is to know what to play, to know when to play, to feel the room and to sense what is going on.
You could apply it to any musical instrument really.
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.