In December, I took part in a fun evening of presentations of supposed lost letters from St Paul. The five letters were subjected to voting from the audience to determine which among them was the real deal. Mine received the fewest votes, but don't let that put you off: plenty of people did express appreciation for its creativity and innovation. Perhaps it was a bit too clever. I had a lot of fun composing it, so as I commence a semester tutoring in a course on Paul and his letters, I share it with you now. First, the introductory story as to the letter's discovery, and then the short letter from Paul to Jerusalem. It will, I hope, provoke your own pondering on what Paul might have written to the church in Jerusalem before that fateful visit.
The manuscript I have been analysing is in pristine condition. However, it is not a first century manuscript. And the language, though somewhat foreign to an audience today, is not Greek – not to me, at least.
'Storytelling is for primary school children not university students' (from this article). MP David Davies' ignorance of storytelling as a fundamental element of human (well)being is precisely why we need positions like the advertised professor of storytelling at the University of South Wales.
Here is my response, from a storyteller who is both practitioner and scholar in the art of storytelling.
David Davies' view of storytelling as 'sitting around reading John and Janet books' is woefully ignorant of storytelling as both fundamental feature of human identity and communication, and of the craft of oral storytelling as a distinct performance art.
I see across the UK a rich culture of storytelling: it is disappointing that a servant of the country is unaware, and unappreciative, of that culture. Indeed, that richness is part of the reason I moved from Australia to the UK for my postgraduate research into the practice of biblical storytelling, with centres for an…
Seeking and finding. Sometimes you know you are looking for something in particular; sometimes you know you are looking, but don't know for what; sometimes you find something and did not know you were looking for it.
The Magi from the East saw a star, understood what it signified, and walked towards it, seeking the long-promised king.
I'm not sure the song is a favourite for itself, with its naming of these visitors as 'kings', and perpetuating the interpretation of three gifts as representing three givers. But as a song that points to this story of outsiders being welcomed into the story of God's renewing love, a story of risk-taking response to that invitation, a story of wonder and wisdom and imagination: I love it.
I find poems when I don't think I am looking for them. They surprise me, catch me unawares ... or so it seems. I think, actually, that in order for me to catch the poems when they arrive, to hold onto these fleeting gifts of inspiration, I must b…