Odd, isn’t it. I was invited to attend a ‘bible study’ recently. I have to confess, I’m not much of a one for ‘study’ as people most readily perceive it since adults should not be admitted to bible studies unless accompanied by a child because adults can’t be trusted to rightly divide the word of truth. Without my usual banging on about it, the study in question was around the lectionary readings, Advent Two Year B yielding Isaiah 40 which always reminds me of the incomparable tenor solo from Messiah – followed by Second Peter with its interminably tedious wrangling about authorship. No doubt it represents the faith and the teaching of Peter the apostle, but it probably came to a later generation who were troubled by the delay they had experienced in waiting for Jesus to return. You see. I’m doing it myself. Forgeddit, argue about something important – like the central message of patience. The Gospel is from Mark – the Baptist echoing a patient wait for one to come.
Almost in spite of myself, I was drawn to this theme. There’s an old Bedouin practice where honey is collected by storing the combs vertically in muslin bags so that the honey can drip with infinite slowness through the muslin. When tempted to squeeze the bag to increase the flow rate one should be aware that if the honey is forced through the muslin it ends up streaked, valueless and lacking in purity. H’m.