11:57

The first 11:57 of the year took place last night, made even more significant by being the first one under Carol’s leadership, and actually being led by Carol; she did an amazing job.

11:57 is a place to get together and ruminate on the big questions; not always to find out the answers but more fundamentally to taste the spiritual side of life, nurture it, feed it, love it, grow it.

So what does 11:57 stand for?…..The name emerged from one of the gatherings described in the 11:57 story (see website). Someone brought a film called 11:57 that they’d made, about the approach of New Year – the hopes, the fears, the promises of resolutions that can all flood through your mind a few moments before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. And we got to thinking that that was a little like what we were doing – talking, thinking, questioning like you do over a few glasses of wine late at night. 11:57 came to represent that time of night you start asking the deepest questions, wondering about the most abstract of things, the time when you have the profoundest of thoughts and experiences, the time when you’re most likely to feel that indescribable sense of connection with the soul, the time when somehow you feel like you’re caught in the middle of something so much bigger than yourself…

Alpha

I am helping lead Alpha at the Cathedral which started this week. The most exciting thing was when four asylum seekers from Libya came, and would like to join us next week.

What a wonderful opportunity to share something of Jesus with them

The Panto Gospel

Mark 1: 4-8

John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism – a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit – will change you from the inside out.”

This Christmas we went to a Pantomime; I  love them and Anna-Rose & Daniella get really embarrassed because of the energetic way I join in with the “He’s behind you”, “Oh yes it is” and “booing at the baddie” moments.

Even though I am not the main character, or even on the stage, I still have a part to play. In fact the the thing I love about Pantos is the need for the audience to join in, and how a panto is dependant on the audience joining in; I audience participation makes or breaks a panto.

John realises he is not the main character, Jesus is, but he recognises his need to join in  to make the story Jesus is shaping throughout history. This the same for us, we are not the main character, but have a key part to play.

I love that life is like a Panto; the more you join in and put into it, the more you get out of it and the more others get out of it.

(The bit from the bible: Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.)