Today, after weeks of silence, I had two posts published out there in the big, wide world of the web.
First was this one, published as the ‘Connecting with Culture’ email by LICC:
To the great joy of royalists and well-wishers everywhere, it was revealed this week that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child.
Within hours of the announcement, it seemed that everybody was talking, tweeting and blogging about the baby, speculating about its gender, suggesting possible names, even starting the production of commemorative mugs (yes, really).
Perhaps the most pointed and telling observation was made by the blogger ‘Archbishop Cranmer’: even staunchly ‘pro-choice’ people and publications, who would normally argue that at this early stage of life we can only speak of ‘a bunch of pluripotent stem cells, an embryo or a foetus’ are referring to it as ‘a baby’ or even as William and Kate’s ‘child’.
What can this baby, and the other Royal baby born around this time of year a couple of thousand years ago tell us about the question of personhood? Read more to find out!
The second article was this one, which I wrote for my church’s website:
Everybody Needs Good Neighbours
Once upon a time, Jay Pathak, Dave Runyon and a group of church leaders from their city (Denver, Colorado) got together to try to work out how to serve their community. They invited the local mayor along and discussed with him the many areas of need in the city. Eventually the mayor said that most of the needs would be greatly reduced “if we could just figure out a way to become a community of great neighbours.” In other words, Jay explains, in the book he and Dave wrote as a result of that day, “the mayor invited a roomful of pastors to get their people to actually obey Jesus.”
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus told his listeners (and by extension, us), “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.” Simples.
Or is it? Jay and Dave’s book, The Art of Neighboring (yes, I know we don’t spell it like that, but they’re American and they do) has some challenging questions and some great ideas for how we can start living like Jesus told us to.
In the article I share some of their ideas, and some ideas of ways to contextualise them if you don’t live in a nice, quiet American suburb with a big yard and a garage.
First challenge – can you name the eight people living closest to you? If so, can you list 2 details about their lives (that you couldn’t have got just from looking at them)? No? Me neither. But don’t despair, practical help is at hand! Just read the article… 😉
And yes, I know there are three dips in the picture and I said it was double-dip day, but that’s because, as a bonus (!) here’s a link to a third article I wrote this week. It looks at the subject of freedom, drawing on the Leveson report and some news about new restrictions for free schools. Yes, I know, that was my first thought, too, but read the article to see where I came to on further reflection (and on actually checking the facts!).
Whew, what a busy week!
Picture Credit: ‘Trio of beignets with dipping sauces’ by katyrlynch (Creative Commons)