Thursday 29 March 2012 at 11:34 am
But in that moment I also knew that for him, being Messiah was never what I believed it would be, not what any of us believed. And that was a dark moment. Because I’d tried to say this to him before, and he’d called me Satan. Then I’m seized by these huge, cavernous doubts, like someone has reached into my cheast and put a cold hand round my heart: is it all in vain? Is he just the madman, the blasphemer, the simpleton, that others say he is?
Peter - Stephen Cottrell
Many of us read books for lent, but Bishop Stephen Cottrell’s offering is really more a text for Holy Week, especially Good Friday itself. At just over 70 pages it certainly could be read on that day as part of prayer and meditation. This book of reflections has its roots in a Good Friday meditation shaped by Stephen when he was a humble curate, and that humility runs through the work. Here is not one of the most inspirational Bishops of the Church of England speaking ex-cathedra but rather kneeling at the cross with the reader.
The book is structured in three parts, six readings for Friday Afternoon, one for Friday evening. Part three ‘Towards Easter’ is the Gospel message. There are guidelines for using the book as a Lent course (a bit late for this year) although I intend to use it in Holy week for our daily services.
Tuesday 30 August 2011 at 12:39 am
For years I avoided Greenbelt. In my late teens the leaders of our ecumenical youth group ‘Future’ were fans and we had lots of early alt.worship influence. Then I tied into New Frontiers and Stoneleigh bible week, before drawing back from the whole ‘Summer Mountain Top’ experience in my mid-twenties. Lots of people I know have been involved with Greenbelt over the years, but as I got more and more into kite flying and the run of summer kite festivals and competitions Greenbelt didn’t fit in.
Then last year a friend of mine, Ian was an exhibitor for a client. I was offered a free pass to come along, accommodation in a caravan, on the basis of a few hours on a stand promoting a film. It also gave me the opportunity to surprise my fiancée, now my wife. I was blown away by Transcendence, Blesséd and fascinated by the Goth Eucharist.
This year I was asked to participate in the Big Top opening worship offered by Fr. Simon and Blesséd as a concelebrant. So arriving Friday morning we were well unpacked and tented in our SoulPad. The opening worship of the festival, the mass combined had the best use of a rock band in worship I have seen. Being in the big top clouds of incense featured as we sought to worship in earth as the Saints do in heaven.
Wednesday 03 August 2011 at 6:50 pm
In a recent Catholic Herald article entrance fees to Anglican Cathedrals were heavily criticised, as these were places of pilgrimage.
Anglicans are not great at pilgrimage in general, the Shrine at Walsingham is popular in certain circles, and number of Cathedrals and Parish Churches have tried to embrace ‘spiritual guide books’ although these are often aimed at the un-churched. Yet we are surrounded in these Isles by ancient and holy sites that most of us walk by without recognising. These spiritual secrets need to be rediscovered.
Yet there are signs of renewal. Nick Mayhew Smith’s beautifully presented Britain’s Holiest Places has recently become a surprise best seller on Amazon, after significant interest in the mainstream press. I suspect that many of the purchasers may not be Sunday Church goers, but this book is essentially rooted in Christian spirituality and pilgrimage
Tuesday 17 May 2011 at 7:07 pm
I have rather a lot of Bibles. Mostly digital, either on OliveTree or on my Kindle. However there is something great about the physical heft of a paper bible and the Mosaic NLT, despite being available in digital formats makes a lot of sense as a physical aid to devotion and study.
The text is the NLT, which is a dynamic translation, translating thoughts and meaning rather than word for word. I have found the NLT ideal for a wide range of pastoral and personal uses; my only disappointment is that the Deuterocanonical books are missing. The body of the text is set in a two column format with limited cross references. Throw in a short concordance and a Hebrew/Greek dictionary with a limited word study system based on Strong’s and you have a basic reference bible. There is no verse by verse commentary and book introductions are brief.
What makes the Mosaic study bible stand out is the 340 page front section on thicker cream paper. A section is provided for each based on the liturgical pattern of the year.