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Michael's blog

The fortepiano

Last Thursday, on Conversations with Richard Fidler, I was introduced to the ‘fortepiano.’ The comments of Richard’s guest, Geoffrey Lancaster, about this unusual instrument intrigued me.

I also acknowledge I am entirely out of my depth here.

I apologize in advance to those many people with more musical knowledge than I!

The fortepiano existed from around 1700 up to the early 19th century, and has recently enjoyed a revival. It’s the piano that Mozart et al. wrote for. (A fortepiano was brought out to Australia with the First Fleet.)

I wasn't like that, was I?

Sometimes, thinking on past memories, I am brought up with a jolt, ‘Did I really say that?’

‘Oh no, that’s so embarrassing!’

‘If only I knew then what I know now…’

Recently, a similiar moment occurred in conversation with the Presbytery panel, appointed for the Vital Ministry Consultation.

Discussing my placement at Gordon, a panel member made a comment that rang many bells. It was wonderfully affirming, profoundly insightful, and also painful, all three.

It was almost a revelation.

'My God, we're drowning'

Recently, I’ve been caught out in a few storms.

Being tossed about by the wind, swamped by choppy waters, wondering if you’re going to drown is a horrible experience.

As I struggled with this experience, Mark 4:35 - 5:1 came to mind. (I had written a commentary about it for ‘With Love to the World.’)

It tells the story of Jesus and the disciples, who cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee on some fishing boats. On the way, a great windstorm descends on them, causing chaos.

You can't crib the child

Most biblical scholars believe that the Christmas stories, so familiar to many (shepherds, a manger, the wise ones…), are more than biography.

They serve a theological purpose.

They answer questions such as, ‘How can we account for the extraordinary person that was Jesus? Can we track back to his origins and get a glimpse of the adult he would become?’

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