A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leapt within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has…
In this period of economic downturn there is much tightening of belts going on. There is the fear of losing a job, and the depression that comes from having lost one. People aren’t going out as much, aren’t buying as much. At a time of low interest rates, credit is very hard to get, and mortgages are only available if you have a substantial deposit and a secure salary.
Today in the UK, not having a television is one of the official measures of poverty. When I was very young, it was a mark of affluence – black and white affluence, but still affluence! Our standard of living has increased immensely in a relatively short period. We have more possessions than we ever had, and we throw them away faster than we ever did. Once they are out of fashion, they are out of the door. Once they are old tech, we are looking at the new.
Christmas Day was a busy one, calling in at our first round of visits at 11 am and leaving the last one at 11 pm. I could say that it was all go, but I would be more accurate if I said it was all eat. By the time Libby and I got home, we were very full and very tired. Boxing Day had an emergency start as we nearly slept in (as we would have loved to do) and we barely made it to church on time. Our church is very lively and, even when I am sitting down, I can’t stop moving in time to the music. The result was that I was very tired by the time I got home. We both were, and we settled down to be truly lazy relaxed.
There is a belief or custom in many societies that age brings wisdom. This gave rise to the role of Elder, where the older members of the family or society are in a position of leadership, and this has been incorporated into church life, though here spiritual maturity is normally the qualifying factor rather than physical age. Note that I have said the age brings wisdom, not intelligence or knowledge. I am sure that we have all met someone who is incredibly clever, but who shouldn’t really be allowed out on their own!
Do you like a bargain? Do you feel really good when you find one? Earlier this year, Libby and I were in Lytham. We passed a very up-market shop which sells women’s, or perhaps I should say ladies, clothes. It is a very expensive shop, and normally we always pass it, but this time I noticed that a sale had just started about an hour earlier. Libby decided it might be worth a look, so we went in. Libby found a tee shirt was reduced to a slightly less than extortionate price, but then I noticed a coat. It was a very special, very different raincoat, and it really was reduced – 80% off. Libby looked great in it, so we bought it. It was so different and such a bargain that Libby tells everyone about it.