The main thing today, apart from some TV in the evening, was reading my copy of Tony Robinson's The Worst Jobs in History. It is one of those books that I bought some time (between 2007 and 2018) and have never got round to reading. It is based on a TV series but works out independently of that. It consists of six chapters covering the familiar eras in British history and highlighting some of the wort jobs people have done Among the more repulsive or dangerous jobs are fuller, chimney sweep, executioner, leech collector, Plague burier, rat-catcher, leather and tanner. I really enjoyed it, including the etymological elements thrown in for free. There is something wonderful about history.
By this stage one feels quite familiar with the in person am, zoom only pm pattern, despite its frustrations. We must have been around 16 or so there in the morning. I did a one off on one of the seven sayings of the cross - the words It is finished. With the kids we took a break from the catechism and I read the title story from my father-in-law's new book The Legendary Casey Jones and other American folktales in the evening we carried on in Luke, looking at Luke 6:12-19. We also linked up with our friends Eduardo and Anna Marzia in Brazil working with UFM. The wonders of modern technology.
It was disappointing last Sunday morning as after two or three weeks of steadily rising numbers we slumped back. I preached on Mark 15:38 in light if the Easter season. At least our East African lady was there again. We largely ignore Mother's Day but I was slightly embarrassed that our consecutive reading was Isaiah 3. This is the chapter where Isaiah goes to town against the women of his day (“The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.” etc). The one comfort was that at that moment I was probably the only person on the planet reading that chapter in public. In the evening it was zoom only and a look at Luke 6:1-11 and the matter of the Sabbath Day.
One of two tries for Ken Owens
Excellent win over Italy by the Welshmen as we come closer and closer to a Grand Slam. One would have liked to see fifty clocked up but you can't complain when there's a 41 point gap between teams. France next week.
We were in 1 Chronicles again last Wednesday - Chapter 22 this time and David's preparations for the building of the temple. Wonderful to be with the Childs Hill folk again even though it is only on zoom. Good time of prayer as well adn enjoyable conversation afterwards.
I had various ideas of what I might do on this week's day off but in the end just did some blog work and watched TV. I did get out for a coffee and did some puzzles in the newspaper, of course. It's a reminder that even days off need planning.
We began with a very small number, small enough to sing aloud. Numbers improved, however, and we were more than we have been in weeks. These included an old friend from South America who we've not seen in ages, the East African lady who came last week and a young African man who was very keen to talk. It was good to see everyone there and to have others listening in on zoom. I did another in this series on meditation, this time on the sinfulness of sin, which seems like a depressing subject but was quite encouraging I thought. In the evening we looked at the last section in Luke 5 on fasting and then the wider issue of New Testament religion. We also heard from my son Gwïon on his Relay work with UCCF in Aberystwyth.
Way behind as ever but we did meet on zoom last Wednesday and we looked at 1 Chronicles 21 and David numbering the people. We then had a good time of prayer. Our meetings seem to be getting shorter. I hope it is efficiency rather than a lack of prayerfulness. I think it is the former. We seem to know a lot of people outside our immediate circle who are ill. I discovered this week that only one person is said to have died of the virus in our area. We are fairly affluent but that is remarkable. (Since March 1 2020 some 22 people have died altogether. Borough wide the covid death figure is over 900),.
On my day off last week I made a start on reading the papers for the Affinity Study Conference on March 17, 18. I have been to most of these over the years and have always found them a great benefit. I am sorry we are online and I did think twice about shelling out £30 for such a thing but it will still be worthwhile. Simply reading these different papers on eschatology has been a benefit. (I managed to read two and a half of the five papers on my day off - they vary in length and the third one by Michael Horton I found quite demanding). I also popped out for a take away coffee and did the crossword, etc. A bit of TV in the evening.
PS It could be argued that I shouldn't be reading theology on my day off but knowing it was my day off made a difference somehow. Anyway, how else am I going to get them read?