Friday, April 09, 2010

The stories we live in

Picked up all Patti Smith's wonderful 1970s albums in a slip case for a tenner yesterday. result! Five albums (the package included 1988's Dream of Life). I shall listen to Horses and Easter as I read her wonderfully observed memoire, Just Kids, chronicling her start in the business and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

And I confess a frisson of sadness at today's news that Malcolm McLaren has died. I remember early punk washing over Manchester in gigs of complete anarchy and chaos that blew through the rather ossified rock scene in 1976ish. He was a true pop maverick.

Meanwhile, back in the study, I have been putting the finishing touches to a Spring series on 2 Corinthians. I am really looking forward to getting into this urgent pastoral appeal for restored relationships and a cruciform lifestyle. Paul is urging his hearers to a life of holiness based on the story of Jesus in a world of competing stories and spiritualities.

The stories we tell about the world and our place in it, gives shape to our lives. Tell the story that McLaren and Smith lived by and one's life takes on a particular shape and course. In many ways, the election campaign is a clash of stories - how does the world work, what's our place in it?

And here's Paul, retelling the story of Jesus and his story, showing how in that story, God works to bring people together in a community of justice and equity. That's a spiritual vision but also a political one. Paul's intent is not that we withdraw from the world and huddle together but that we live in the world by the values we encounter in the story of Jesus.

We're off to Spring Harvest in Skegness on Sunday to serve on the smallest pastoral team we've been involved in. I'm assuming that numbers are down - otherwise we're going to be really busy! We always enjoy our week, working with some great people, catching with up how God's been working in their lives since last  year, as well as walking with a whole variety of folk as God speaks to them about all kinds of issues.

And then it's the Baptist assembly. Spring is so busy!!

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