Bible

Another new resolution

Last year I explained why, despite my scepticism, I made a new year’s resolution. It seems to have been beneficial, so this year I intend to make another.

Last year my concerns with making a resolution focused on them either being naively optimistic or being made without any expectation of change. Throughout this year I’ve seen that my last resolution was neither of those things. However, my resolution this year is quite different, and my concern now is more along the lines that it may encourage me to be a functional legalist.

My resolution is to memorise some scripture every week. Some weeks this may only be a verse, other weeks it may be a longer passage. That’s not the point. The point is that memorising the Bible is a valuable habit to develop. It’s been recommended to me by mature Christians, I’ve read books advocating it, but more to the point it’s a very Biblical thing to do. Psalm 119:11, for example, indicates memorising God’s word is a way to combat sin.

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

I hope to make it a regular discipline to memorise portions of the Bible, but I also hope to avoid acting as if it’s something which somehow makes me a better Christian, or is necessary for God to love me. It’s neither of those things, but it is something which I’m sure God will use to shower His grace on me.

Happy new year to you, may it be filled with grace and peace!

What new year’s resolutions (if any) have you set yourself, and why?

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A big day out

Tuesday was Gareth’s big day out – a day spent in London consisting of culture, friendship, and a name worthy of a Wallace and Gromit film.

We kicked off at the British Museum with a guided tour of some of the exhibits which relate to the Bible. I was impressed by the speed at which we went round, as my parents always do museums far too slowly to keep my interest. It did strike me just how much archaeological stuff is pottery, which makes for a very monochrome museum, but it was nevertheless interesting to see some of the details of the lives of people in Biblical eras. It helped to drive home the reality of who these people were, and the world in which they lived.

After lunch it was on to the Tate Britain, where the art lover within me failed to materialise. I didn’t understand any of the art, but I did think about art for the first time. I did actually quite like one of the abstract pieces, but my artistic observations were along the lines of ‘It’s very big’ or ‘Oh, that’s green’! I’m a little confused about what art is after being told it doesn’t need to look nice and doesn’t need to require skill, but I think art is anything that’s been created by someone inside the art world. By the same (somewhat cynical) token, good art seems to be anything which has caught the eye of someone influential enough to display it somewhere.

For me, the highlight of the day was walking past the houses of parliament and looking at the security arrangements. I didn’t dare photograph them too closely for fear of being arrested, but I was fascinated. I can only imagine that having a whole bunch of new MPs must have caused chaos for the security arrangements! It’s a small thing, but seeing a van being let into nearby Downing Street was, bizarrely, a slightly special moment.

The day was my first experience of tourism in London, and the related joy of the tube (or underground tram network, as it’s been aptly described). It was a nice day, it did broaden my mind a little bit, and I got to take photos of colourful elephant statues and equally colourful sword-wielding soldiers. The only disappointment was that I expected Trafalgar Square to be a bit bigger, but considering it’s prime London land then I must admit £240 is a cracking price for it! Monopoly will never be the same again.