… is the title of a book being recommended by loads of people this week. I’ll add it to the list of books I need to read – a list that grows by the day.

I hope I won’t be alone in Berlin this weekend. I will be there (with my wife who has never been to Berlin before) to preach in the Cathedral (Berliner Dom) on Sunday morning. The Dean (Dompredigerin) and Cathedral Council (Domkirchenrat) are being very welcoming and hospitable and we are looking forward to a very full and enjoyable weekend.

This is only hampered by the fact that I will be preaching in German. My German isn’t great, but I managed to preach there a year ago (at the conclusion of an academic conference I hadn’t attended) and they still invited me back. I asked some German friends to go over my sermon in order to make sure (a) it is comprehensible, (b) it is reasonably coherent and (c) won’t make the congregation laugh at my mistakes.

The good aspect of doing something like this in a foreign language is that you have to keep it simple. You work out what you want to say, how you want to say it and don’t dress it up in the sort of complexities you can get away with in your own language. So, they’ll be getting something on the conversion of Paul – who remained as passionate, pedantic, irritable and sarcastic after his conversion as he was before it when he went around persecuting Christians.

I’ll be back on Sunday evening to do a two-minute ‘live’ Pause for Thought in the Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2 on Monday morning. Again, the discipline of saying something (anything) in two minutes is great for people who can talk for ever about anything when put in a pulpit.

Ho hum. One of these days my mind will become fertile again and I’ll get back into the groove of regular blogging.