This is a strange old season I am currently experiencing. For a couple of months in Edinburgh it felt as though I was drifting, without direction or purpose. For the past couple of weeks in Adelaide it feels as though I have been hiding, overwhelmed by the gratitude of many friends for having me back in Adelaide.
I am super grateful for the many friends who want to spend time with me – what a gift it is to be so loved – but I find I have not the capacity for more than a very limited number of close confidants in this short season in Adelaide.
I’ve not even made it to church yet, so daunting is the prospect of all the well wishing people wanting to connect with me. That feels ridiculously ungrateful of me, for the love and support of this community of faith carried me through the three years in Edinburgh.
But I am trying to be kind to myself, not only in taking the time and space I need, but in not feeling guilty for doing so. I’ve battle…
Have you heard church leaders, preachers, theologians bemoan the lack of ability of congregations today to listen to a sermon? Listening audiences are accused of having short attention spans, requiring multi-media delivery of a message, not valuing oratory. But is this true, or fair? Should the 'blame' be shouldered, at least in part, by the preacher? I suggest that we have lost the ability to communicate orally, not just to listen attentively and to hear. Can we regain the skills of oratory, utilise tools of performance, and once more hold an audience for longer than 13 minutes (a time suggested in a book called The Prodigal Project as the ideal length for a sermon)? Can we help listeners learn again to be attentive for longer, to hear a message and hold onto it after the blessing and the handshake at the door? And should we even strive to achieve these goals? Should we even bother? Or do we abandon the oral communication of our sacred texts for the more culturally popular mul…
It's Thursday. This time last week I came home for lunch after spending the morning at the church as usual, and I slept. For three hours.
I had been having a great week: nice drive to Yass (an hour away) on a lovely sunny Monday; productive day Tuesday planning worship, finishing off a translation of a portion of Acts, pastoral visit and a walk to the post office in the afternoon; a long walk and a hearty breakfast with church folk Wednesday morning, lunch with more church folk, and more work on the translation in the afternoon.
Thursday was an early start for the midweek prayer service, but I can usually perk up after coffee. I yawned my way through the whole morning, feeling myself skidding towards a crash.
I have written of the chronic exhaustion that plagued me throughout the PhD years. Debilitating financial stress a major culprit, and for many years before those three alone. No doubt 20 years of living with depression didn't help, either.
Muscles, inflamed, ached through…