The first time I ever saw a drug addict was at a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park – a long time ago. There were actually two of them, and I remember how awful they looked, but I also remember thinking “Nutters!” As years passed, I saw many more and I have to admit that I felt total disdain for them – they were nothings, and were not to be trusted as they would rob and steal. Time went by, though, and I started to see them in the chemists waiting disconsolately for their methadone. My heart started to change.
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!
We read a lot these days about identity theft. In the last year it cost Â£1.9bn in the UK, affecting an estimated 1.8 million people.
Wikipedia states that “the victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if he or she is held accountable for the perpetrator’s actions. Organizations and individuals who are duped or defrauded by the identity thief can also suffer adverse consequences and losses, and to that extent are also victims.”
What puts fear in you?
For me, it is things or situations that I am not in control of. Computers? Not a problem, I can strip them down, repair them or rebuild them. Cars? Ooohh, fear, doom, calamity – all because I am not in control of the mechanics, because I don’t know how to fix them.
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
It’s nice to get home, isn’t it? It’s good to get the shirt and tie, the suit and the shiny shoes off, and just get into some sloppy gear that you can relax in. It’s good to switch off all the thoughts about work, the people who have crossed your path, made or spoiled your…