Cullen: Good morning! John bidding you welcome to Zeph@10 whatever time you got here (noting that some pick this up later in the day!)
The photo is Cullen (Yvonne kenned that). It’s one of those “thin places.” We go at least once a year and I write a lot of my material on that shore. We changed our usual holiday timetable this year and arranged to go in August so we could go to France at Spring Bank when we would normally be in Cullen… May in Normandie is very unlikely, though not cancelled yet, and I’m not confident about Scotland in the summer… Schools may be back before the end of term, but I’m not expecting them to welcome visitors. I should be on the road for a little tourette of concerts and schools work around the Midlands and South East of England in September. Everybody has at least one thing they looked forward to that is not happening. Pray for a peace to defeat all our disappointments.
I’m missing a bit of my security just now… Not a lot of people know this, but I do like to have planned where I am going to be, doing what I’ve been called to do. I realised yesterday, when Bingley URC cancelled the service I should have been leading in June, that I haven’t looked in my diary since the lockdown started. You could pray for the Director amongst those who you know want/need to plan…
We don’t know what the disciples had planned for the next year(s) of their lives but we can be fairly sure they hadn’t thought of doing it without Jesus. Jenny raised the question yesterday of whether Peter used his own (mothballed? furloughed? abandoned?) boat to go out on the sea and fish. They’d left everything “at once” in response to Jesus’ “Follow me!” What could they do now? Some of them could fish—but not very well, apparently. They had been deeply deskilled.
Would the Romans have Matthew back to collect their taxes for them?
Could Simon the Zealot ever go back to terrorism?
The team’s mission budget would be hit without Jesus as their USP – had they got that far in their worrying? Go on now, pray your own worries to your Father…
Then they start seeing him – in all the old familiar places. We’re told that “some doubted;” some blatantly “disbelieved” (Mark’s Gospel); and some described the stories of a risen Jesus as “nonsense” (Luke). I imagine it’s very hard to see the one who has your recent past and your foreseeable future in his hands, die horribly and then be expected to believe that the dead leader is not dead after all. Today’s non-scriptural quote is from JK Galbraith, economist: “Accepted wisdom is a contradiction in terms.” When “everybody” says it’s impossible, God is. “I am….(supply your own description of Jesus)
Pray here for a strengthening of our faith, “Help our unbelief.,” in the knowledge that the followers of Jesus were enabled to get it together and be his people again.
This song was written (not in Cullen) after Jeff Farnsworth said to me before a Sunday service in July, “It’s been too long a winter.” Seeing my obvious confusion he kindly explained that it was a metaphor to describe the darkness of a world that doesn’t know Jesus.
Hey, however long this goes on, the light’s still shining. Jesus is alive. You are still chosen, called and loved. And Pentecost is coming.
Lift up your heads and sing (whatever you want!)
We said we’d review Zeph@10 at the end of April. That’s next week. Team, we can talk elsewhere, but if others looking in have an opinion on whether we carry on/stop/alter, let us know, please…