Wednesday, January 04, 2012
January 4th Faith
So, as some of you know, I got dressed yesterday and did some work. It helped. What helped particularly was meeting with a very ordinary bunch of, yeah let's say it, not that young, members of a local church who wanted help with learning to lead worship, pray in church, read the Bible and preach. Doing this sort of thing is an absolute priority for me. Partly because it clears my diary of having to plan services because others can do it and partly because delegation is the business I am in.
This morning I said Morning Prayer with two other guys in a cold church. They have faithfully done this every Wednesday throughout a vacancy that is nearly two years old now. Only recently have I begun to join them. I don't think there was any clear articulation of why it should be done. It just seemed right to them to carry on and so they did, come rain or shine.
Routine is a good way to keep faithful. You follow the patterns laid down in the past because then the journey is familiar. Footpaths tend to lead to the same place every time, unless you are at Hogwarts or something.
Every time I have posted, over the last eight years, in a manner such as I did yesterday, or indeed ventured that sort of information in a conversation, I have found it tremendously rewarding. Not rewarding in the sense that everyone says 'there, there, buck up' even though they do and it's OK, but rewarding in the sense that it seems to be a helpful thing to say. Judging by the feedback on Facebook and in the comments box I suspect that I am being more helpful to people when I say how I really feel. Obviously not the sort of thing to blurt out on a bereavement visit but you know what I mean.
I used to enjoy a quote that said something like;
Tell them about your certainties - they'll have enough doubts of their own.
I think it was the late David Watson who said it, or at least popularised it. Thing is, that leaves the impression that the clergy are the only ones with 100% clarity of faith all the time. Clergy can come across as just a bit over-sincere - you know that thing we do with slightly more eye contact than everyone is comfortable with.
After prayers I went shopping for a bit - a wander ponder if you like and anyway I had to buy some birthday presents. Another reason January sucks is that half the family have birthdays in it and that is joined by the car insurance renewal and my balancing tax payment for the year.
So the current state of me is that I am bright and breezy and not particularly stressed that the world is currently a place of godless truth and beauty. I will attend tonight's prayer time with a clear conscience and maybe even say a few myself.
In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
It's from the beginning of Samuel. We don't quote it often enough.