Well, it’s the first day of my sabbatical and it’s not exactly a rest so far – up at 4.30am (I’d forgotten we had one of those) for Maggie to get me to the Bus Station for my coach to Heathrow.
Having said that I’m not planning a real rest - the loose theme, which holds what I’m planning together, is essentially looking at how we might become more like a missional association of churches.
One good thing about the flight over to the States was the chance to catch up on watching the Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’. We missed this when it came out, so I’d been waiting to watch the DVD.
Friends (especially one heated debate at Team Leaders I recall) had given me mixed reports, but all were very definite one way (very good) or the other (very poor). I’m coming down very firmly on the very good side of this equation – I loved it.
Now, you need to know I grew up wanting to be James Bond. My dad took me along to watch every film as it came out and I came out of the Cinema shooting every one in sight – I may still have my Aston Martin in the loft somewhere! The interesting thing is watching this newest film – I still feel like I want to be James Bond. Now before anyone reaches for the BUGB Directory to phone our Ministry Department, I’ve worked out a little what’s going on for me here – it’s the thing called ‘adventure’.
Hopefully, my values are somewhat different now from when I was seven, which is, I think, when I became a fan. I can still do money, sex and power and remain as vulnerable as anybody else who’s normal to their lure, but what comes through in this latest Bond is that it is for him, to coin the phrase from a previous blog, about what wins more than who wins. For James Bond it is duty. We may want to argue about his ethics, but when HM Government, personified by the tremendous Judi Dench as M, said ‘come follow me’ he follows – wherever it takes him and whatever it costs him.
So, that means I’m going to dig out what I heard Alan Hirsch talk about when he was over with us last year – something about putting the adventure back into venture. If we don’t disciple people in the way of Jesus, the world will disciple them.
In Quantum, there’s loads of great lines (I’ll have to buy the DVD for them now) about trust. The whole film seemed to me to be about trust and Bond appears to have blown it to the point M says at the very end of the film ‘Bond, I want you back’, to which he replies with a statement Peter couldn’t say to Jesus, ‘I’ve never been away’. He could be trusted with the ‘what’. But then he is James Bond, so we knew that all along, didn’t we?Anyway, it’s snowing here in St Paul, but the room I have at the Lutheran Seminary is baking hot!