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Holiday – Holy Day

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

The artist popularly known as Madonna released a hit single in 1983, entitled Holiday. Like all magical stories, Holiday had been turned down by singers Phyllis Hyman and Mary Wilson, formerly of The Supremes. In similar vein with the vision of the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, this song calls for a global Holiday.

Written by Curtis Hudson and Lisa Stevens of Pure Energy, the track was presented to Madonna by her producer John “Jellybean” Benitez, during their search for a potential hit track to include in her debut album.

Interestingly the word Holiday actually emerged from the concept of a Holy Day. In Judaism it is a sabbath, a day of abstinence, worship, and rest from all form of toil and exertion.

In Judaism we also have the sabbath week, and the sabbath year (also known as The Year of Jubilee). It was meant to be observed on the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle for the Land of Israel.

As well as leaving the land to replenish, by the end of the year all debts (sadly, like usury and other concepts around social justice, the debts of foreigners was not included) were cancelled, and slaves are set free. In fact, Jeremiah will blame the Exile on the lack of observance of The Jubilee.

To this end scholars argue that the main reason why it was never observed was because of the greed of the ruling elites. They did not want debts cancelled, slaves set free, or a year long holiday for workers.

Once every four years, the FIFA World Cup affords us the opportunity to just relax and enjoy twenty two men chase a leather ball for 90mins.

When was the last time you just relaxed and played? This could take the shape of watching a movie, listening to music, hanging out with friends.

As well as work, play is an important part of being human. Some of the most innovative ideas were conceived through play. In the words of Madonna:

Let love shine

And we will find

A way to come together

Can make things better

We need a holiday

To a great week!

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

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Leadership, and the challenges of our time

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

Seldom do we see leaders stepping up at a time of adversity as we see with the Elders at a time that can be best described as their worst crisis.

Amidst the destruction of the Temple (the place they met with Yahweh), destruction of their institutions; power vacuum leading to political and social instability; the Elders were able to come up with ideas that will not only sustain them through Exile, but also preserve them as a nation.

On reflection on their trajectory, and with exposure to ideas in Babylon they came up with the philosophy of monotheism, and the idea that God does not need a visual representation (idols), but, is in fact a spirit. And that he works through them as co-creators or stewards in the continuation of his purpose on earth.

Interestingly we also see the early developments of other ideas that will later form the basis of Christian doctrine. These include: the idea of a contrary force (Satan or the devil), although we are not privy to the source of this entity or being; the concept of resurrection of the dead and judgement in the afterlife; a messiah (one that will lead the people of Israel against their enemies); and in the absence of The Temple, fasting and prayers as means of atonement and connecting to Yahweh, and as a means of resisting Satan.

These Elders were wise. They saw that the tides were shifting, and that what was held as ‘truth’ in time past were no longer so. Rather than forcing these old ideas on the masses, they reimagined, reengineered, re-envisioned, and reinvented their faith not only to address present challenges, but also future challenges. In simple terms, instead of going backwards, they chose the more difficult option of moving forward.

In the words of Nehru:

Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.” – Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India)

Consequently the present crisis we face in our world should force us to think. These challenges can act as a catalyst to move us, but there are only two polar opposite directions: forward or backward.

The choice for us as leaders is binary.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

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Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

In previous weeks, we established that unlike traditional doctrine that the Old Testament was written by Moses, it was in fact written retrospectively.

Most scholars agree that the recording, redaction and compilation started during the Exile and it was completed after the Exile.

The primary goal was to galvanise the people towards a metaphysical and physical identity, and for the purposes of nationhood.

Last week in my lecture on Exodus chapters 4-6 we also treated a concept known as The Evil Eye, sometimes referred to in Hebrew literature as The Eye of Evil.

In the Bible, The Evil Eye is synonymous with envy, jealousy and some forms of covetousness. Within the commonwealth of Israel we see lots of examples: Esau and Jacob, Rachel and Leah, Joseph and his brothers, David and Uriah, David and Absalom, Saul and David; and the list goes on.

We also see it in the hostility they face from gentile nations. Thus, the Israelites saw themselves as victims to The Evil Eye, because of their unique relationship with Yahweh. In the course of my lecture I explored what it meant for us today, and the internal and external effect.

In line with this thought, and as part of my recap, I will be drawing lessons from an incident in the book of Samuel between Michal (the projector of the evil eye) and King David (the receiver of the evil eye); with a focus on the repercussion of her action.

Seminar questions will centre broadly around the following theme:

  • what were the redactors trying to convey through the story?
  • how did the story serve the community in their nation building project?

  • what lessons can we deduce from the story?

  • examples of people today that have exemplified similar qualities

Core text: Exodus, chapters 4-6 NRSV

Join us at 3pm

St John the Evangelist Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk