My talk from JAEC 2017 is available to listen to on the Church Society website.
Thirteen studies for small groups on Exodus 1-15.
The book of Exodus continues where Genesis left off: with the Israelites living in Egypt. But where they were once favoured guests, they are now enslaved immigrants. The first fifteen chapters of Exodus tell how God rescued his people out of Egypt, despite their lack of faith, their inadequate leaders, and the best efforts of Pharaoh to prevent them. These chapters are among the most significant in the Old Testament for demonstrating God’s saving nature and explaining the way in which true salvation will come through Christ.
These Bible studies are intended for use in small groups wanting to explore the riches of the Old Testament, to see how it is fulfilled in Christ, and to recognise the demands of God on our lives today.
I’m planning a new series of Advent daily Bible readings this year, working through the minor prophets. These will be quite long – 3 or 4 chapters most days – but I think it’ll be a fantastic way of looking forward to the Lord’s return as well as preparing to celebrate his first coming.
I’m also going to do the 36 pictures in my colouring Bible that go with these 12 books. More than one for every day, hooray! I’ve just cast on for this year’s Advent scarf, ready to begin the actual knitting on December 3rd. That’ll give me an hour or so every day to sit down, without the TV on, without worrying about other stuff to do, to read God’s word and reflect on it.
If you’d like to join me, the readings are:
Advent 2017 in the minor prophets
3rd Hosea 1-3
4th Hosea 4-7
5th Hosea 8-10
6th Hosea 11-14
8th Amos 1:1-3:12
9th Amos 3:13-6:14
10th Amos 7-9
13th Micah 1-3
14th Micah 4-5
15th Micah 6-7
20th Zechariah 1-4
21st Zechariah 5-7
22nd Zechariah 8-11
23rd Zechariah 12-14
There’s a printable version here. Feel free to photocopy and share as widely as you like.
I recently set up an instagram account which I’m using for my OCA art and also some Bible journalling. You can follow me @ros.clarke if you’re interested. I’m much more likely to update regularly there than I am here.
Here’s a few recent images to whet your appetite:
I’m having a few days in London next week, and for the first time in ages, it’s not about seeing people but things.
On Monday, I’m going to Tate Modern to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition. I also plan to see The Smile and a couple of the other London Design Week exhibitions on the Southbank.
Tuesday is the V&A for more from London Design Week, and Undressed – an exhibition of lingerie. Then I’m going to see exhibitions by Pietro Seminelli and Abdoulaye Konate. I’ve booked in for afternoon tea at Fortnums at 6pm. That’ll be dinner sorted, then.
And finally, on Thursday morning, I have a ticket to watch a recording of Pointless!
I’m not going to do any cooking. I’m not going to any meetings. I’m not making plans to catch up with anyone. And if I don’t get to all the things I’ve planned, that’s totally fine.
Like pretty much everyone else, I’ve been fed up of the debate surrounding the EU referendum since before it started. One thing that has particularly struck me is the lack of engagement with any of the real issues, on either side. The Remain camp are solidly focussing on short-term economic issues, while the Leave camp occasionally make shots about immigration, but mostly stick to short-term economic issues.
There are two problems with that: it’s virtually impossible to predict the economic effects of leaving the EU and both sides have been told off for the way they have interpreted the evidence to try to make their point; but more importantly, this isn’t a question about short-term economic issues. It’s not a general election where we vote for the next five years and then we can change our minds if it’s not working. It’s a referendum on a question that I don’t anticipate having another chance to vote on during my lifetime. This is a decision for at least the next 20-30 years and potentially much longer. What happens to our economy in the next 2-5 years is irrelevant. I’ll tell you what’s also irrelevant: whether you like Boris Johnson and/or Michael Gove. If you make this vote about their political careers you are shooting yourself in the foot.
So if that’s not the question, what is? Here are some questions I’d like to be discussed and which I’d love people to consider when they vote:
Questions of principle:
1. Is there greater political accountability in the EU or out of it?
2. Are the curbs on political corruption greater in the EU or out of it?
3. Will the increasing economic ties between EU countries continue to force increasing political ties? And if so, what does that mean for national democracy?
4. Is there any inherent benefit to having a smaller government or a larger one?
5. Nation or empire? Superstate or federal state?
6. What is the role of the monarchy in an EU nation?
Questions of pragmatics:
7. Does the EU really give us greater national security?
8. Has the EU been effective in preventing armed conflict in Europe?
9. Is there any reason we couldn’t have generous and compassionate immigration policies if we left the EU?
10. Is there any reason we couldn’t establish good trade agreements with EU nations if we left the EU?
11. If we left the EU, how likely is that to trigger similar decisions in other EU countries and potentially cause the whole project to fail? What would the consequences of that be?
I’m sure there are many other questions of this sort that I haven’t thought about. I’m not an expert on any of this. But please, please, don’t let the dreadful campaigns fool you into thinking this is a vote about how much better or worse off we might (or might not) be in the next couple of years. Please.