In no particular order of importance:
(1) Down Under Summer: too much rain! Too cold! (Or, if in Oz, too hot!) Perhaps we could have a decent run of sunny, holiday mood suitable days and weeks of weather?
(2) President Trump: could we forget and wipe out certain things you have said and start afresh, speaking about and to the world in a kinder, gentler, respectful way?
(3) Visiting cricket teams to both Oz and NZ: a better standard of competition, please!
(4) I am starting back at work today and I am glad for all the practical things I have gotten done about the house and about my study ... but, really, there is still quite a bit to do and I wouldn't mind some more holidays in which to accomplish them :)
On a serious note, my holiday musings (including some contributory comments by readers and responses by me to the post immediately below), holiday reading, and holiday experiences at different places of worship, have gotten me thinking and thus re-keened up to blog in 2018.
Something I wonder if I might do is try to offer a bit more theological solidity e.g. by offering reviews/responses to serious theological reading. (However that is very hard to "live into" so "I wonder" and not "I promise"!).
Out of a wide ranging set of reading, thoughts, conversation, experiences, for the purpose of this blog, a very simple question comes to mind, What is the church?
"What is the church?" touches on associated questions, "What or who is the church for?" "What should our experience of church be?" "What did Jesus want the church to be?" "What would Paul and the other apostles make of the church in 2018?" "What makes the church? Preaching? Eucharist? Both? Something else?" "Where is the Holy Spirit in the life of the church today?"
Something I keep observing to myself is that different styles of church will mostly seem right and proper "church" to those enabling them either by preparing and performing or by choosing to faithfully participate in them. Yet pretty much every different style today - in my humble or not so humble opinion - can be severely critiqued from the perspective of Jesus and the gospels (e.g. see one book I have read on holiday, Sara Miles Take this bread), if not from the perspective of Paul and his charismatic, house churches.
Yet I also find, for myself, much that is good in each of the styles I experience and much to agree on in what I read. Obviously the perfect, if not ideal church is an amalgam ... :)
Praise the Lord: God in Christ is Lord of the church! And I love a comment in a Christmas letter sent to me. I paraphrase it here to avoid unfortunate and/or unnecessary identifications being made:
"For us the [Anglican church of the nation to which we belong] continues to amaze, astound, depress (delete as applicable – [where we live and go to church] IS the Diocese of Aregion!). We are consoled in recalling that the [Anglican church etc] is NOT the Church as defined by [our] brother Paul."
So, I shall continue blogging in 2018 in a continuing attempt to contribute something, however tiny, towards the church becoming what God intends it to be ... thank you for reading, keep up the commenting :)