Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tis the Season

... for me to be buried under a pile of envelopes at work. I think I handle more mail in this 4 week period (3 weeks of November and first week of December) than I do in all the other 48 weeks of the year combined. I'm not complaining. I'm jus sayin'.

Which is why it's probably a good thing that it's wet and rainy and cold and miserable outside. If, say, this was Australia, and it was Christmas in the summer and I had 6,000 pieces of mail to go out - I would have a hard time spending my evenings in front of my TV folding and stuffing when the beach would be beckoning.

November is sweeps month - so I am entertained nicely while I get paper cuts on my fingers and tongue. (I know. Gross, right? Sometimes I use a watered sponge to moisten the flap. Sometimes I just lick it.)

Tonight I had a reprieve. Two of the biggest mailings are done, and I'm waiting for two more projects to get printed. So I went out. Out of my house. With no envelopes in my arms. I felt so free.

I went to a free public lecture, sponsored by TWU. To hear this gentleman:

NT Wright.

He is recognized as being a smart person. He's written 60 books and had alot of important jobs. Check out the link above to see what Wikipedia has to say.

His talk at Trinity this morning, at their chapel was about Hope, apparently.
Tonight it was about being human.

I've got 7 pages of notes.  Simplistic notes. Notes that may or may not reflect what he was saying. I've been known to hear one thing, and interpret it a way unintended by the speaker. Like, say, when one of my kids says something, I think I'm hearing them clearly. But when I react to their words, they assure me I heard them wrong. I add a whole lot of baggage to conversations that is unnecessary and destructive.

So what I'm saying, is that you should probably read Carolyn's blog in the next week or so, when she gets around to sharing her thoughts. She will likely have notes that capture the essence of what he was sharing more better. Yes, more better. Or at least more accurately.

What I heard, through my filters and biases was:
1. If God raised Jesus from the dead, then everything else is rock n roll, isn't it?
(This was a quote. A London cabbie said this to "Tom" regarding the issues the Church of England was facing re: female bishops.)

2. We are human. We were purposefully created to be human. God gave humans dominion over the earth BEFORE THE FALL. Adam and Eve were given jobs (working is not a punishment) before sin entered the world. They were called to bring about order. To name things. To grow things. To live in order, not chaos. God uses FAMILIES to bring about His purposes. Families were His idea.

3. Empires are how humans organize the world. Roman Empire -> British Empire -> the next empire will likely be Eastern (Chinese) Empire... what will that look like?

4. Our job (the human vocation) is to reflect His glory.

5. We need to find fresh ways to tell the story. His story. The Story. Simple repeated one line choruses are not going to do it. Older hymns tell the story .. and in singing them, we become part of the story. Choruses don't tell the story... they are (simply?) personal expressions of worship and missing the bigger picture. Worship is not about us.

6. All humans are image bearers. Not just "Christians". All humans reflect God's glory. All humans love to praise. It's how we were created. (Think rock concerts, sporting events, etc. Everyone loves to be part of a huge praising crowd.) Well, OK not everyone. I have a friend who hates crowds. But everyTHING and everyone was created to praise.

7. Writing is good. But memorizing is better. When "we" learnt to read and write, we lost the art of memorization - and hiding things in our hearts. And that is sad.

8. God calls the church to hold the authorities accountable. He OKed authority on earth. It was part of his plan for order. But that authority (governments, lawmakers) must be challenged and redeemed. This is the church's job. We need to discern truth, then speak in love, boldly.

9. The world needs a fresh vision of politics. Why aren't Christians articulating new ways to do government?

10. God made this world beautiful. He made us desire beauty. We reflect His glory when we create Art. When we think creatively. When we beautify.

11. And then, at the end, a young fella, asked NT what he could do to reflect His glory. He's just a carpenter. (His words, not mine.)  And, Bishop Wright said, (or at least I think I heard him say) (Or maybe this is an example of my creative hearing process) "Do good work. "GOOD" work - as in taking pride in every detail of your job. Get a reputation for excellence. For example, Mennonites value working hard and doing their jobs well and good. That value is reflective of God's character. To work hard and see that it is good."

Did I really hear him say Mennonites? He had an accent and it was the second to last question of the evening, and he may or may not have actually said it. But I heard it. And in my heart, I got a little bubble of pride to be part of a group that is known for their work ethic.

That's that.
I should probably read one of his books.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. My dad's love of the new Christmas lights on their home. (It's his "job" to turn them on every evening. He asks a couple times a day if he can turn them on now...)

2. I'm thankful for the creativity and generosity of my mom's friend, Hildegard. She decorated my mom's mantel for Christmas and again, my dad loves it. Yes, it's his job to turn it on (the lights) and he looks forward to doing it everyday.

3. I'm thankful that Max has brothers and a dad who helped him with his broken down truck this weekend:

4. I'm thankful that my $100 investment in geraniums last April kept my back patio cheerful all the way to Nov 14...

I think I'll clear them out on the next non-rainy afternoon this week.



Anonymous said...

Jane, you do yourself a disservice. Your notes were just fine. In fact, I don't think I need to post anything! We'll see what settles down in my thoughts over the next few days. And yes, he did mention Mennonites - woot woot!
And I did buy a book - After You Believe. I should probably wait until I'm finished my course and have done with final exams before I start it...but I won't. You're welcome to borrow it afterwards though : )


Anonymous said...

Yup, I definitely heard the Mennonite thing too. And I agree with Carolyn about the notes thing.
I confess I was expecting someone much more pompous and unapproachable when we went to see The Bishop last night. One of the things I enjoyed the most was how he managed to be dignified and humble, one with authority and knowledge and yet approachable and ready to receive the wisdom of a London cabbie. Lots of food for thought and application. Glad I went! Glad you went!

Anonymous said...

Hi Very funny post...