Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Thought for the Day

As delivered to the James Hanson (sitting in for Emma Britton) show on BBC Radio Bristol just now:

When Mark wrote his account of Jesus feeding 5,000 people he said they sat down on the green grass in groups of fifty and a hundred. Why did he mention the colour of the grass and the size of the groups? Doesn't do that elsewhere. One explanation might be - because he was there and remembered.

I woke up this morning and leaned over to my wife and said those three words she loves to hear first thing - 'It's Tuesday, right?'

And even though this radio format doesn't allow me your instant feedback I can hear many of you shouting 'That's. Four. Words.'

See I've noticed that when we only have very small details to pay attention to we, guess what, start spotting very small details. Grammar pedants. Or 'Wise BBC news editors' as I've learned to call them.

I've spotted people on social media telling me about the wildlife in their gardens as nature becomes more urban, the new recipe they've discovered, or the small things they can do many times over to raise sponsorship. Yes, people have climbed Everest in fir-tree units and run marathons in backyard-sized laps without leaving their own homes. DIY projects have been completed in lock-down. I've even sorted out the deanery filing-cabinet. It was dull.

If and when you come to write down your journal or diary entry for 2020 it may include stuff such as:

  • Did my own dentistry.
  • Grew my own veg for the first time 

Mark's Gospel is littered with little details that only an eye-witness, or someone who transcribed the story of that witness, could possibly remember. As the weather gets warmer, and green grass becomes rarer, we do well to recall that little details add credibility to a witness' story.

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