Monday, 7 May 2007

BHWE Saturday

Prepared (losing hair in the process) to do the 'Family Focus' at Rock the next day. Series is on questions people asked Jesus, and this one was on 'Why do you teach in parables?' I already knew I didn't really know the answer to that one, which is not the best position to be in when trying to think about how to teach young children.

After going round and round in circles regarding intellectual comprehension and spiritual blindness I decided on a two-fold approach. (1) Parables had great cultural relevance and immediacy and have great enduring mnemonic value. In themselves they embody as much as they exemplify; i.e. they reach the parts that lectures and propositions don't. (2) Jesus' answer in Matthew 13 focuses on the condition of his listeners. Either you hear with faith or you don't - and many of that generation didn't (at least not then, but maybe over the next few decades they did - Leithart, building on Rodney Stark, makes a reasonable case, followed up here). So the moral of that is, ask God for help in understanding Jesus' teaching, his life and mission, and for the strength to live in obedience, in the kingdom of heaven (which is what all those parables were about).

Needless to say, this was repackaged somewhat for the meeting!

Then it was nipping out to buy lots of food for Sunday before heading off to the idyllic westerly fringe of Cambridge for a concert I had organised for all my piano students. Everyone who played acquitted himself or herself extremely well. Even the most error-ridden performances were musically convincing and remained performances. We (me, Kate, and plenty of parents and siblings) enjoyed a handful of single-line pieces and other works up to Rachmaninov's B minor Prelude and Beethoven's 'Tempest' Sonata. I was extremely pleased with how they all did! And the venue worked a treat - a swish drawing room in Clare Hall with a light and noisy Kawai baby grand.

Got home dehydrated and collapsed into bed unable to move for an hour with a severe headache. Rather an odd stroke, and not particularly pleasant! Recovered enough to assist Kate with preparation for lunch the next day, and then to watch Rushmore. Heartily enjoyed this, despite some pretty fruity and tasteless verbal porn. It is very stylised, but also very believable. Bill Murray plays himself, as usual, and Jason Schwartzman is outstanding as the precocious, old-fashioned, other-wordly, yet unhappily hormonal and male teenager around whom the film revolves. Engaging and brilliantly observed, with not a whisper or a shot out of place.