As the great man's guest must produce his good stories or songs at the evening banquet, as the platform orator exhibits his telling facts at mid-day, so the journalist lies under the stern obligation of extemporizing his lucid views, leading ideas, and nutshell truths for the breakfast table.
Cardinal J. H. Newman, Preface to The Idea of a University, 1852

Monday, May 18, 2009

Play-off semi finals: Scunthorpe

Away: 1 - 1
Home 0 - 0, then lost 7-6 on penalties.

A went to the away leg with 3 friends from uni. V & I watched at David Lloyd leisure.

J came with V and me to the home leg. J's conclusion: I don't want to come to anything like that again!

Heartbreak. Jude had the chance to win it for us in the 'sudden death'. It should have been glorious, the player who more than any loves to be loved by the fans. But instead it was agony - saved easily. I'm sure that moment will haunt him for years to come.

Earlier Puncheon had his saved, much to the disgust of V.

Gueret took one - a good strike that went in.

But in the end it was Flo who missed, to end all hope.

Got a sympathetic email from C in Stockholm.

Season all went wrong this weekend. Livepool's chance of winning the premiership disappeared on Saturday with ManU picking up the point they needed from Arsenal. Then by losing to Liverpool The Baggies were relegated on Sunday. The one time I wanted Liverpool to lose - what would it matter - and they win 2 - 0.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

God has to justify his (her) existence?

(One of what might be a series of half-formed, half-baked, thoughts that need developing.)

I read things that talk as though God is a 'given' and we can work-down from God to understand the world. I'm thinking that God has to justify his existence.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Susan Boyle and the resurrection

The story of Susan Boyle was used in a sermon a couple of weeks back. The preacher spoke of the sacrifice that Susan had made. Earlier in her life she had chosen not to pursue her singing ambitions, instead looking after her mother and doing voluntary work, visiting the elderly members of her church congregation. A parallel was drawn with the resurrection: from 'nobody' to global fame in the space of a few days. Her sacrifices were rewarded.

Yes, but.

Susan was not a nobody before her fame. She was the same person before and after. She could sing beautifully, whether or not anyone could hear. Her value does not reside in the recognition that the world gives to her. Her glory was not in her discovery, it was there all along. (Her glory doesn't even reside in her ability to sing so well - though that is a wonderful thing. God values each and every one of us because we are human beings. Full stop. That's the point of God. Human life would be intolerable otherwise. But that's a different story. Let's run with her singing for the moment.)

This is one of the problems I have with the resurrection - or with the way the resurrection is sometimes portrayed. If the resurrection is a happy ending, then how do we cope with events that don't have a happy ending? Because we can't pretend things do always have a happy ending. Unless of course it is 'pie in the sky when you die'. But that doesn't work for me.

No, the glory of Susan's triumph was the way it revealed to us what she had always been and would have been whether or not she'd been discovered. So too the resurrection has to be about life before death, whether or not Jesus was raised from the dead.

But again.

You start writing and the words flow. 'Resurrection has to be about life before death'. Maybe it has to be, and those are the right words for Christian Aid Week, but that's hard, isn't it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hereford away, 2nd May 09

Last match on the season, before the play-offs. Won 1-0.

And so we should, since Hereford were bottom and already relegated and we were third. Interesting stadium. We were high up, like in the balcony of a theatre, almost alongside the centre line. Excellent view, except when close to our side of the pitch when in disappears from view. J commented that it was much more entertaining watching football when you've got such a good view, but that is was a shame the match was so boring...

We all went - J, A, V and me. Time for a snack in the cathedral coffee bar before the match, and J and I had a walk alongside the river while A & V went on to savour the pre-match atmosphere.

After the match we went on to a B&B near Barry in South Wales. Two nights there, and eplored the coast the next day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"...and that's a tragedy"

I've never (well, hardly ever) subscribed to the 'they're all rogues, out to look after their own interests' line on politicians. I really do think that most politicians embark on a life in politics out of a desire to do something worthwhile.

And this interview of Hazel Blears by George Monbiot doesn't change my views. I think that Ms Blears believes she and her fellow Labour MPs are 'decent people' out to do good for the world.

But, how can anyone say this:
... despite, you know, that hundreds of thousands of people have died, and that is a tragedy, I still believe that is was the right thing to do...
so jauntily?

I don't know what I'm expecting. But "and that is a tragedy" is somehow not enough coming after "hundreds of thousands of people have died". Shouldn't anyone who has been party to a decision that has resulted in hundred of thousands of deaths show some sort of stress?

Is she really so sure that the right decision was made? I know I worry too much about things I've done. And I know a politician is making what are in effect life-or-death decisions every day, so their jobs would be impossible if they agonised over every one. But, again, you know, hundreds of thousands of people have died.