I will not indulge you in another apology for my lack of communication. The prep for the Olympics has played a massive part in my life so I’ll assume you can empathise with me. I’ve also been experiencing some turmoil in my church walk (if only I knew Christ before I knew the Christian).
Anywhooooooo, I did read through Ecclesiastes and this book exceeded my expectations. I felt it was a smooth transition from Proverbs in terms of it’s style and short sharp shock lesson tactics. Of all the books I’ve read so far, I’d say Ecclesiastes exudes an ostentatious timeless-ness. There really is nothing new under the sun…apart from dating and the Internet.
During my time with Ecclesiastes, I went through a baptismal turmoil of sorts. This blog has no intention of naming, shaming and blaming people so I will wait a while before I divulge too much information, but I will ask this question: Why is the church so systematic in their baptismal process? Does this not contradict Jesus’ desire to smash pharisaical pursuits? Why can we not take heed of what Eunuch (the Ethiopian) said in Acts? So long as there’s water and an acknowledgement that we cannot conquer sin without the almighty, shouldn’t that be enough?
This takes me back to my earlier point…there really is nothing new under the sun. Moving on: A while ago I blogged ‘The Apology’. I felt my approach to this journey, although not bad, could have been better. I said I’d go back a bit, retrace my steps. true to my word, I moonwalked my way to Psalms and was reacquainted with Psalm 23 after a campaign that was held in the East end.
Psalm 23 was Granddad’s favourite prayer- a real comfort to him when he approached the end of his battle with cancer. I had always associated it with him, so to analyse it as a grown woman was really something. I was able to detach it from a bleaker childhood memory and appreciate it as sheer poetry and relevance to the world I’ve come to know. I saw how each line held many connotations (not in the sense of confusion; more in the sense of relevance to varying circumstances). It was only after coming to understand each line I saw how I was being tested so that I could understand it: “Although I may way through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” I would encourage you to take a few minutes to ponder on and digest that line. With each breath you take, you’ll soon realise the increasing power in it.
So where do I go from here? I guess I’ll finish what I started. I will continue reading each book and blogging my thoughts post haste. I will continue to study with those who will have me (providing I get on with them). Finally, I will search for a church community that embraces cultural diversity. Forgive my rant but it must be said, I’ve seen the dangers in church becoming a gated community for one type of culture or race. At times, culture and tradition can get tangled up in religion and as a result, we become Thessalonians. I do embrace my mixed heritage, but I also accept that I am quintessentially British (fish and chips all the way baby!)
Hopefully by the time I sit down to write the next one, I’ll have a brighter thought to share. But for now, this sporadic brainstorm of mesh is all I have to offer. At least I know that despite the church’s inconsistencies and contradictions, the bible is unshaken and Solomon most certainly knew what he was writing about, and that it would come in handy for the world we live in today.
Until next time folks…