Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday pleasure

We were awakened this morning by Rhiannon, beaming with delight and climbing into bed with us accompanied by her soft toys. Kath brought her down by train to stay overnight, a special pleasure for us, compensating for our visit to see them being shortened by my kidney stone incident on New Year's Day.

Although my voice-box is still not back to normal, I have been feeling much better this past few days, so I went into church for the Parish Eucharist and preached to see how much I could handle of being back in public. Having such an invasive 'flu was more of a knock to my physical confidence than I was prepared for. I'm used to being resilient and bouncing back from illness, but I haven't been like that on this occasion. Archdeacon David Lee was there to celebrate, supportive as ever, and everyone was so kind and welcoming, it felt good to be back.

In the past few days, with plenty of time to spare, I have been able to prepare my series of Lent talks - 'Faith for hard times'. I've been thinking a lot about the priority of evangelism - 'in season and out of season', and drawing upon the work of a French Protestant theologian, Laurent Schlumberger, whose short tract 'Sur le seuil' (On the threshold) I was given on my ski expedition last winter by my friend Valdo. The book gives a penetrating analysis of modern culture and advocates a vigorous and disciplined examination by the church of its raison d'etre. Rather than just skimming it in French as I did the first time I read it, this time I properly translated key sections of text, to ensure I really did understand his propositions. It's been helpful in shaping what I want to offer as Lenten fare this year.

On a lighter note, Clare and I watched a classic 1960s French comedy movie on DVD after supper, about RAF air crew escaping France after being shot down over Paris, and featuring the inimitable Terry-Thomas speaking French with his wonderful accent Anglais - always source of amusement to the French. It had elements of the classic Great Escape movie about it, though the French title, la Grande Vadrouille translates as 'the Big Stroll' indicates it's a send-up of this genre of war movies.

No comments: