1 Kings 3: 5-12; Psalm 119: 129-136; Romans 8: 26-39; Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52
Those of you who have heard me preach before may remember that one of my hobbies, indeed as my brothers in the community might say, one of my many hobbies, is genealogy. I love to wander cemeteries looking for the graves of long dead, and the not so long dead. I can be thoroughly content pouring over old census material looking for that elusive relative and I find a great deal of satisfaction in proving that the person listed in one census is the same listed in another 10 or 20 years later, ‘though thousands of miles, or whole countries apart. And while I am quite happy spending my holidays in graveyards and county archives, the task of the family historian has become an armchair hobby as I can pour over those records, and even wander cemeteries from the comfort of my chair and with the services of a good internet provider. One thing I have discovered, at least on my mother’s side of the family, is that I come from a long line of Methodists. Rare is the Anglican on that side of the family.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-49a
Fyodor Dostoevsky tells the story of how in 1852, when he was incarcerated as a political prisoner in Siberia, he was so disgusted by the drunkenness and violence of his fellow prisoners that he climbed onto his bunk and turned his back upon the chaos in the barracks room.