Monday, September 17, 2007

lost and found

The gospel for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity yesterday was Luke 15: 1-10, the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin.

We had a very interesting discussion time at our eucharist on the text. what does it mean to be lost and what does it mean to be found?

There is a very kind of "right-on" perspective which really struggles to imagine anyone as being 'lost'. Who are we to judge people or say that we are 'the found' and that they are 'the lost'. How arrogant and condescending!

At one point in our discussion someone looked out of the window at the street and asked whether we really had to believe that all the people walking past were really and truly lost.

But I think it's vital to hold on to this sense of 'lostness' if we are really going to 'honour' people's pain and take it seriously. The fact of the matter is that as much as we want to say that people are alright as they are (the trendy, right-on view)I suspect a lot of people would not say that about themselves. We want to say they are alright as they are but they know they're not. They know and experience pain and alienation in many different ways and this is a big part of what I would call 'lostness'. They may not use this language but there is a very real sense in which they need to be 'found', and they know it. Our political correctness does not help anyone. And we ourselves, even as followers of Christ, need to go on being found by him - there are parts of us that are still in the 'lostness' of pain and alienation.

Now that 'being found' may not mean 'coming to our church' and believing all the same things we do (and one of the reasons we squirm a bit when talking about these things is that we inherit these concepts with these 'colonial' overtones ringing in our ears) - but if we abandon the possibility that people are lost and need to be found then we not only diminish the gospel we also trivialize people's very real sense of their own pain.

The fact is that, as someone else in the discussion beautifully pointed out, these parables tell us that there is no where that God cannot find us. But God doesn't just locate us, he picks us up and carries us away from our alienation and pain and returns us to our homeland in him.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

iPhone about to get UK release?

It seems that the long awaited and much hyped iPhone is about to get a UK release - are reporting that there is a special press conference scheduled at the London Apple store next Tuesday and the speculation is that it will be to announce the launch.

I am waiting to see what the price will be and which network it will be on. My Blackberry is now due for a new contract but I'll wait to see if the iPhone is affordable before deciding what to do. If it comes in at a reasonable price I might be tempted as my iPod is still one of the now very old (in technological terms) black and white ones - the iPod equivalent of a black and white telly I guess!

does enjoying new (apple) technology make me a hopeless consumerist sell-out, enslaved to the spirit of the age? anyone else planning to get one?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sigur Ros Movie

Seems that Sigur Ros have a movie coming out (thanks to Ben for the tip off).
I'm a big fan of The Ros. We often use their music in church and I loved seeing them live last year.
As we have come to expect from them the film looks amazing - if the trailer is anything to go by it will look as well as sound absolutely gorgeous.
Go here to see the trailer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lily-Anna's Baptism

Last Sunday was Lily-Anna's baptism - a really important event in the life of our family and our little faith community.
Here are some photos - you should be able to work out what's going on in each one. Tess Ward co-led the service with me...there's one of the of me doing the actual of the 3 of us...and one of the star of the show herself.
The photos were taken by our friend Suzie - I think you'll agree she did a fine job. If you're interested, the full set can be found on her flickr page here.
I planned the service - we basically followed the Common Worship (anglican) service but with a few tweaks of our own. Towards the end we used a fantastic track by The Cinematic Orchestra while showing pictures of Lily-Anna and encouraging people to pray silently for her. We then invited people to stand one by one and offer a blessing for her life. We've collected the pieces of paper the blessings were written on and I'm going to compile them, along with a selection of the photos, and make a book for Lily to have when she's older.

Some people get very uptight about infant baptism but for me it's a fairly simple and straightforward deal. The question is this - is Lily-Anna going to be part of the community of faith or not? If she is then it's entirely appropriate for her to be baptised as baptism is the mark of being part of the covenant community. In the scriptures there are simply no categories for un-baptised members of the church. We want Lily to play a full part in the life of our little faith community and therefore she should be baptised.
Some people say that she's not old enough to know what's happening. But since when did our life with God depend on our understanding? Infant baptism symbolises beautifully for me the fact that God reaches out to us before we are ever aware of what's going on and before we are ever able to respond to God.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

new iPods

so - only just been reconnected and I'm having a quick look through my regular websites - which include and and what do I find? they've just announced a new generation of iPods including the 'iPod Touch' which basically just looks like the iPod bit of the long awaited iPhone (you certainly wouldn't need both!).

back on wi-fi

it's great to finally get back on wi-fi in our new temporary home. when you don't have it you suddenly realise how much you were relying on it. which of course is true of most things in life.