(omg here stands for Olly Murs Girl)
Today I am the father of the most excited teenage girl on the planet. After school today I will be taking her to a book signing. ‘Big fat hairy deal,’ you may be thinking. It doesn’t sound very exciting.
But the book signing is by Olly Murs, who is the number one target of affection of our daughter (see here for an example of the fanaticism). He’s even signing his own books!
On Saturday morning my wonderfully patient and gracious wife, Sally, got up insanely early in the morning (before the sun had even thought about rising) to drive our daughter to the shopping centre where the book signing will be taking place in order for her to order the book and get a wrist band that entitles her to go and get her copy of the book signed by her hero.
Today is the day when the book signing takes place. I suspect that concentration levels at school may be lower than normal and that most conversations between my daughter and her friends will be so high-pitched as to be almost hyper-sonic. I can’t even imagine what the car journey will be like, other than being pleased that there will be a seatbelt to keep her relatively still.
I am not sure what my daughter is planning to say to Mr Murs. I suspect she is rehearsing it as I type instead of parsing verbs or whatever she is supposed to be doing.
I have not really any personal experience of such a moment. I have never had the same level of fanatical devotion to anyone famous. I try not to be impressed by fame, success and fortune. I have an allegiance to Ipswich Town Football Club; I follow some people on Twitter; I have favourite bands, comedians, TV shows and so on. But nothing approaching the near hysteria that I suspect I will witness this afternoon.
I have just finished reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. At times his popularity seems to have generated similar levels of excitement in the crowds that followed him to that of Mr Murs. But you didn’t need a wristband to access him. Indeed when his followers started to organise the crowds and keep away some children Jesus got quite angry with them and told them in no uncertain terms that children were welcome too.
That’s one of the things that has struck me afresh today in reading Luke. Jesus was so accessible. I guess it picks up from the bloggage earlier in the week where I was musing about Jesus being ‘one of us’. Ordinary people could approach God and talk with him. People like you and I could shake God’s hand. He might have been very happy to autograph copies of his latest scroll (except the biographies weren’t written until a bit later).
In Jesus, God is still as accessible today. He’s less than a prayer away. He’s always ready to hear from us. He’s as close to us as the pages of an open Bible. He’s with us, in us, by his Spirit.
God forgive us for Christians and churches ever making it difficult to get to him, to find him, to hear from him.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
See if you can find the tenuous link between this joke and my daughter’s fondness for Mr O Murs:
One night a wife found her husband standing over their baby’s cot. Silently she watched him.
As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, skepticism.
Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, with eyes glistening she slipped her arm around her husband.
“A penny for your thoughts,” she said.
“It’s amazing!” he replied. “I just can’t see how anybody can make a cot like that for only £74.99.”
Tenuous link is that in the word ‘infant’ is the word ‘fan’. Told you it was tenuous!