Always good to start the new year with a book.
Mine is Brian McLaren's A Generous Ortodoxy - a book with a ludicrously long sub title that makes a point but means the cover is the ugliest I've seen in a long time!
For those of for whom the Christian faith is the only way of making sense of the world, this seems to me to be quite an important book. In rapidly changing times, asking the question what relevance does faith have, particularly faith in Jesus, seems pretty crucial. Crucial too is the supplementary question 'what shape will that faith have in the twenty-first century'. All Christian ministers need to be asking this of themselves and their congregations.
McLaren has done this in a series of books over the past six or seven years with considerable panache. This new one seems to be no exception. I'm looking forward to the journey.
Yesterday was the last day of long the Christmas lay off (in England at least) so the family watched the extended version of the Return of the King, the final part of Peter Jackson's amazing Lord of the Rings trilogy. All gathered round the telly with wine, chocolates and excitement.
As well as stupendous set piece scenes and the wonderfully observed relationship between Frodo and Sam, what struck me last night was the theme of power and its potential to corrupt. And bubbling under the surface all the time was the question of whether Aragorn would succomb to the temptation to seek power for itself or for the benefit of all of Middle earth. It's a good question for all of us with power to consider - whether that power is in our families, our churches, our workplaces or in government of some kind.
It's also a ripping yarn of a movie - four hours just flew by!
and now it's back to the routine - at least in the UK. have a good one.