Treasure hunt

At the table with Annie commented on the New Northerners’ post Occupation of the Heart. Her word treasure glistened at me. I actually misread the word, presuming that there was more treasure there, and decided to dig for treasure in the word treasures. I am sure there are words I have missed, just as there is always more treasure to discover. I did discover that there weren’t enough hissing snakes for STRESS.


>Meaning what …

>In translation (thank you Guardian 1999 – and for Michael Carroll for pointing it out)

  • “exceptionally well qualified” means “has made no major blunders yet.
  • “active socially” means “drinks a lot”
  • “quick thinking” means “offers plausible excuses”
  • “exceptionally good judgement” means “lucky”
  • “loyal” means “can’t get a job anywhere”
  • “work is first priority” means “too ugly to get a date”
  • “has leadership qualities” means “is tall or has a loud voice”
In our diocese we have three bishops none of whom speak loudly but they do tend to look down on us – only because they are tall (he hastens to add). We look up to them.

Kum II Sung pictured here stood tall as a leader in North Korea – but not as tall as Robert Wadlow at 8 feet 11 inches!

>Postman Chris

>Editing our parish magazine is a job I could do without – I’m not the sort of person who likes to devote hours to any one task. To make the job more satisfying I introduce a bit of impishness like copying this photo of some grave humour taken by Scott P Richert.

Part of the impishness was to inaugurate the monthly Editor’s Award. Past winners have included Tarvin Environment Group (“best new group” and “group with most promise”, to Jenny Wardle for capturing the essence of prayer in a bouquet, and a collective award for all those who are dis-regarded in their communities in spite of the integrity and service (“our communities would be much the porrer without them”)

This month’s award is for “cheerfulness” and is awarded to our village postman, Chris. I stopped him so I could take a photo of him and explained the reason. He was seriously (and cheerfully) overwhelmed – and shocked! I wonder why. Is it because he doesn’t regard himself as any different to anyone else? Is it because we rarely show appreciation? Is it because we are not used to prizing such qualities?

>The colour of training and a bit of juggling

>Tim Ling uncovered this for a recent conference:
Reed Learning asked its course delegates “what colour is training?”
Replies: green 44%, blue 18%, yellow 11%, red 10%, black! 5% & pink 5%
Fascinating insight or utter nonsense?
Well – some would describe green as the colour of growth, development and transformation. It is also thought to stimulate new ideas and change.

In the meantime, here’s something to do while listening to your ipod – especially if you love the Beatles. You will need balls and it will intrigue passers-by.

>Asda Christmas Protest

>That bloody Asda advert! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (Health warning – please only open this link to the advert if you are happy to go nuts!)
Actually it looks like they are trying to sell a Christmas survival kit. You’ll get through it with smiles, stuffing and silly hats. The Christmas adverts for Iceland, Tesco, M&S are all like a bushwacker trial – fingers down throat – is that Christmas? “I’m a Vicar get me out of here”.
I have started a petition to protest – where are the dark clouds, where’s the light shining in the darkness, where’s the young pregnant girl, where are the crowded streets, where’s the baby?
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Oh no it’s not!

>The Curious Incident of the Painted Cows

For some reason local p**s artists painted local cows! Their work shows a distinct lack of imagination using only white paint (will it be magnolia next time?) and showing nothing of the flair of Banksy’s work. An advertising slogan could be “Milk is good for you” – but then, on the other flank (as suggested by friend Ceri) – “but Guinness is better”.

>We believe in a Jam Jar God

A bit of fun in preparing next Sunday’s sermon. With the passage being the invitation by Jesus to Peter to walk on water I looked at what it could possible mean and come to the conclusion that we believe in a Jam Jar – or should that be Yamm-Yah?
Not a lot of people know this (myself included) but Luke and Johjn in their telling of the story use the same Greek word for water as the Greek word for sea in Job who recognises God as the one who “alone stretched out the heavens and
treads on the waters of the Sea” (Job 9:8)
That word is Yam. God is Yah. So we have Yam Yah – God is a Jam Jar. Discuss.

Great video clip here of Jesus walking on water.

Job wasn’t the first to see God walking on water. In the beginning – “the earth was barren with no form of life. It was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.” (Genesis 1:2)
And then we have the gospel story of Jesus walking on water – and, in only Matthew’s gospel, Peter walking on water proving the point that rocks do float.

Is it just a stunt? Look at me – I can walk on water!
There has to be more to it than that – and the answer to that is in the Yam.

Apparently the Hebrews didn’t believe in sea monsters, but used the image of a sea monster to symbolise evil – referred to as Leviathan. The Canaanites – early settlers of the Promised Land – had a god called Yam – deity of the primordial chaos and representing the power of the sea untamed and raging.

I wonder whether people attributed the storms of the lakes and seas to Yam – evil or whatever name evil goes by. Walking on water then becomes not some super stunt, but a sign of Jesus’s power over the force of evil. When he invites Peter to walk on water he is inviting him to trust that the Spirit of God within him has power over evil.

We translate storms and turbulence psychologically. We know when we are upset, when we are overwhelmed – and when we feel we are drowning. We say we feel “all at sea” – but then we have Jesus who knows that we can walk on water – our Yam-Yah God.

Is that why Jesus washed his disciples’ feet – because they would walk on the water. When he washes the feet of the disciples, is it to admire them. Paul writes: “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:5-15) Does Jesus admire the feet of those who by walking on water so declare the good news about the power of love?