The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

There is a new issue of The British Lutheran out. Finally. It has been the one ELCE task I do that gets ‘put off’ the most. While it is important, it often misses out because it is not urgent (and it is considerably time consuming). When I offered to re-launch the magazine in 2005, I offered to do 6 issues and the ELCE could decide what it wanted to do. I have now done over 50 issues. I am surprised, that in this digital age, how both the book and the vinyl record haven’t become extinct and have even been making a resurgence in some quarters. It is the same with church magazines. This issue of The British Lutheran has been prepared with the Christian Resources Exhibition in mind so that Lutheran Radio UK (and thus the ELCE) has something to distribute at its stand. (If you haven’t been to a CRE – this year it is back at Sandown Park, Esher, KT10 9AJ on 17-19 October – think of it as a trade fair for Christian resources – it’d be an interesting day out – see me for tickets especially if you’d be happy to spend an hour on the LRUK stand talking about Lutherans and the ELCE!)

I like working on the magazine – it isn’t drudgery – in fact I wonder if it isn’t my equivalent of the garden or the vege patch. (When I was at seminary I was told that pastors often gardened as a way of seeing growth!) Seeing something from nothing on the page – and there are many details about every item on a page – editing, colour, shape, and so on – does give me an ever so small sense of creation – something from nothing – and in that we are sub-creators, procreators when we think biology, by creating worlds on pages. That is the genius of literature and the power of the adjective and adverb – and we all seem to have a hunger for a good story and for news.

Behind the author, however, is often a team – editors, publishers, artists, critics, teachers, even readers. When I have time, I also have a magazine team that helps with proof reading and the layout and, of course, the big help comes from those who write and send me articles (I don’t write most of the magazine!). And that is a good thing – you don’t want it to be my magazine! I work on it from the perspective that it is seeking to present the ELCE to the readers … and the ELCE in its official documents, in its congregations, in its people, in its institutions and organisations all want one thing to be heard, read, seen and that is the Gospel. It is our raison d’être. In all the aspects of life – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty – we want the world to know that Jesus is good news. We’re not delusional and Jesus is not imaginary – it is called faith and trust – and everyone does it – everyone believes and trusts … someone/something or many someones / somethings … and for us that person who is with us to the end, who will never do wrong by us, who is faithful to us is Jesus and the God he reveals. And that news – good news – is the best news there is – and the stories of how that news is lived out – in joy and struggles, in living and dying – has a ring and feel of authenticity – that God loves me; he really does. GS

PS. Last week I wrote about an imminent birth … well, Huxley Charles Britz was born on Thursday 12th October. He and his Mum (our daughter, Jenny) are home … all is well … and Charlotte is loving being there! ☺