My friend PB, who seems to be responsible for my musical education at the moment (MadPriest will be pleased) took me off to Naaaaarwich last night to see Martyn Joseph. Who was really rather good. Actually shook hands with the man at the end of it, who struck me as a real human being, strikingly humble given the context. So I like him even more than I did before. I told him to keep up with the protests and the prophetic (you can see understand why I like his songs so much).
I have preached around 270 sermons (more than 90% for Eucharists, most sermons used at more than one eucharist – I’ll normally take 3 or 4 on a Sunday); and taken around 25 baptisms, 20 weddings, 70 funerals.
I recently started monitoring how I’m spending my time (for various reasons) and came up with the following rough figure for “billable hours” – ie not including reading theology (or the Church Times!) sitting around staring at the sky or blog reading/ writing; the ‘directly productive time’ – of around 45 hours per week.
Not sure if that counts as ‘good’ or ‘bad’; bit of a meaningless question when it comes to the priesthood. But I found it interesting.
And it tends to split between ‘busy days’ – when I’ll do 9 or 10 hours – and ‘quiet days’ – when I’ll do 6 or 7 and spend a couple of hours reading blogs or e-mail or writing messages on the MoQ discussion list (which I’ve now unsubscribed from… again)
There are three times where I feel that I am where I should be, being the person God has called me to be.
Singing the eucharistic prayer.
Teaching the faith, especially on Saturday mornings (Learning Church).
Engaging in intense spiritual conversation, one on one, being a channel for the healing power of the Spirit.
I’m building my ministry out of those three things.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”
I’ve recently started reading CS Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, having only read Lion, Witch etc as a child. They’re good fun, but a long way from Middle Earth in every sense. But I like the image of Aslan singing Narnia into life – a more animated vision of ‘God spoke and it was so’.
The Church Fathers said that a prayer was twice as effective if it was sung, presumably because it involved more of you than simply saying a word or two.
Which is why sung liturgy is so essential, of course. All we can do is sing. We can’t earn our salvation, all we can do is sing in thanksgiving.
What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth; What though the darkness gather round! Songs in the night He giveth: No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging; Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing? (Robert Lowry, 1860)