Ha, #lentphotos today is on “Food” – I’ve just pre-set a whole post on Ugandan food for tomorrow afternoon, so look out for that. Meantime, decided that today’s slightly odd photo would be about being prepared to expect the unexpected – particularly in foreign climes – I love trying a bit of foreign food – but I really thought these were going to be salty/Krakawheat type thing – good to replenish salt in hot climes… but no – they are more like cream crackers with sugar on them – very tasty, but unexpected – so if we were being ‘deep’ would we say that often things you don’t expect bring great blessings … or shall “we” just the enjoy the crackers?!
In a country where we are treated like royalty – interesting to think of the many guises that we appear to others – and in this extract from The Horse and His Boy where Aslan makes it clear that he has appeared to them at many points on the journey – but they haven’t recognised him .. we think at what points have we not recognised God appearing to us – and how we can pray for it to become clearer where he has intervened, or prompted us to do something – without waiting for lightning bolts!
So – when I was setting this up – it seemed an obvious link to the story of the Road to Emmaus – where the disciples walk alongside the man they have spent years with – without recognising that it is Jesus. My brain is clearly still swirling around these links – including the phrase that ‘we may be the only Bible that people ever read’ – so we may be the only guise in which people may see Jesus – what does that do for our behaviour?
Ruth Valerio today encourages us to think about the clothes that we wear, and to look beyond the price-tag to ensure sustainable production, and a fair wage for those who produce the goods (having seen the efforts at sustainable business in Uganda over the past few days, very apt) using sites such as Ethical Consumer, charity shops and thinking whether we need so many changes of clothes. I have to admit having been to Primark occasionally (although that’s a bit of a knee-jerk obvious company to pick – and I’m currently checking out their ethical statement) … but part of me thinks “at least the company’s not making a huge profit – unlike e.g. Nike (also easy target?) – cheap labour and high prices (clearly most of their money goes on TV adverts!)
‘Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is an offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Psalm 139)
This, in my head, ties in well with Ruth’s blog post above – “But Lent is about being stripped back – not so that we can judge ourself, or analyse, or critique – but to become aware.” – we need to become aware of our every actions… and the thought processes involved in that, so that we can fully embrace the Christian life (not through works, but by being the person God made us to be, in the situations he has placed us)… and Pam’s post earlier today also brings this out:
Jesus has come to implore the people to turn back to God. Not because if they don’t God will be angry, but because he knows that God’s ways are the very best ways for people to live – the way to get the best, all that was intended, out of life.
Now I think it’s time to go and be #notbusy before some sleep – as we have about 4 hours of bumpy roads & another village to see tomorrow…
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.