Friday, December 16, 2011

The end of each year as the end of your life

I can't stop thinking of Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) this morning, a remarkable and engaging man and this obituary is worth reading.

Why plant churches? is the most read thing I've written all year amazingly. Today, I am meeting with the Bishop of Southwark to talk about church planting and mission which I am looking forward to. He has spiritual oversight over the whole of South London down to Reigate, Croydon, Greenwich, Richmond (about 7 million people the vast majority of whom have no contact whatsoever with the institutional church yet reside in its parishes). He certainly needs our encouragement and prayer in these days.

Nick Spencer wrote this in the Guardian on Wednesday in relation to the new British Social Attitudes Survey.

'I feel it is incumbent on me to admit the following: the latest instalment of the annual British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey reads like a nightmare for anyone (like me) who is concerned about the future of the Church of England. Chapter 12 of BSA 28, published last week, feels more like an Anglican epitaph than a chapter of social analysis.'

Piper has some sobering thoughts and reflections in this film at the end of another year and his quote landed with me as I reflect about Hitchens, the C of E and think about my own 2012 and all there is to be done. It might make me (and you?) more focussed on what we should really all be doing and prioritising if we imagined next year as our last, as this one turned out to be for Hitchens.

"......the end of the year has occurred to me as the end of my life where I treat the end of a year as though this year were my life and it is now over and now I meet Jesus.....' 

John Piper

(via Adrian Warnock)

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