"How am I gonna be an optimist about this?"
That's the perpetual question I have in my calling to be part of the church, to be faithful to Jesus, and reclaim the title "Christian" from all the negative connotations it brings up in peoples' minds!
When I look around and see the walls keep tumbling down of the movement that I love, grey clouds rolling over the hills, bringing darkness from above and it all looks a little bit hopeless, what am I going to do!?
But when Pompeii by Bastille came on in the car today, it was a different line that really jumped out at me:
There’s a house that I regularly drive past that has John 3:3 on a big sign on the wall at the end of their drive. There’s a box next to it offering free bibles. The heart is there, but I would need to sit opposite and see what effect it actually has as an evangelistic endeavour. That said, it had an impact on me.
The verse is in the context of the story of Nicodemus, a religious man who is willing to ask questions of Jesus. He does it quietly and discerningly in the night, and Jesus invests the time in hearing what he’s saying, hearing what he perhaps isn’t saying, and helping him re-frame what is being asked.
Nicodemus wants to know about the Kingdom of God. And here are a couple of key verses that Jesus comes back at him with, including the verse on the wall…
Doddie Weir was retiring from Rugby when I started paying an interest in it. He's been more on my radar since he retired and since his MND diagnosis than he was before.
The tune of "Doddie's Dream" apparently was written without him in mind, but thinking about hope in 2020, and that we all needed a little hope. Doddie was someone who was bringing people hope through his charity and so it was later given his name.
"It stopped raining in my head today..."
That would be nice...
I often feel like there's an almighty downpour inside my head, as I try and work out the mess of thoughts that spiral around!
Some of those thoughts are trying to unpack faith and theology...
The bass from this one echoed around the church as we prayed. The subwoofer had to be on.
Isaiah 2:2 says:
"In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple
will be established as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it."
Or in other words:
"If you look into the distance, there's a house upon the hill
Guiding like a lighthouse
It's a place where you'll be safe to feel our grace
'Cause we've all made mistakes"
If you'd rather listen and come to your own conclusions about the eclectic mix of songs I worked through in Lent 2023, here's the Spotify Playlist!