The week behind

Today has been one of best Sabbaths I have had for a long time. I was well-rested, peaceful in the morning, and for some reason more able to concentrate and worship in singing than before. Julian preached another serious Galatians sermon with plenty of warm encouragement, gently showing the joys and attractions of the ordinary Christian life of constant step with the Spirit cultivating the habit of pure affections. Julian is now highly keen on Tim Chester, whose blog I have subscribed to as a result, and I even suspect they must know each other since Tim’s last book quotes Julian’s most recent before it was published. It was an especially hearty morning worship with so many dynamic Holy Spirit songs, and more hymns than usual, I suppose because not so many of the newer worship songs on the Spirit are in the more wordy class.

I also enjoyed talking after the service to a new person I met, unfortunately discussing all sorts of controversial topics. It is a real relief to discuss themes like geocentrism and evolution in real life, because it is so easy given all the preconceptions and prejudices in these areas to forget how kind and sensible the brothers are who hold these views. Does it matter anyway? If you are scared of ‘other translations’, is it a problem if you still read and love the one you like? There are so many wrong temptations to write off people we would like to disagree with, when in fact it is not even really the case that ‘something has to be done’ for them at all. Can it honestly be right that in fellowship with a young-earther we should be out to change his mind? It is not obvious how to seriously and genuinely approach these questions, but I am relieved that when at least we can meet and get along with these people in our own congregations it is really possible to put the church ahead of intellectual positions on what is the right attitude, even when so much of the conversation has the potential to be contentious. So, I hope that Eden we can work out the call to be welcoming and non-judgemental enough about secondary issues to value the body over whatever we consider sensible.

Choir was also particularly good today, with an electric focus in the canticles and enough rehearsal on the hymns to really sing them (note: choirs must rehearse the hymns, not because they can’t sing them otherwise, but because they will be too distracted by the harmonisation to praise God with the words). Even the sermon was decent, and the formal pleasant. It was simply a surprisingly good day.

In no reflection to my sister on the enjoyment of her visit by ending here, I will happily record that Caroline dropped in for tea on Friday with Hannah Dyson. She thinks I resemble Matt Smith, the new Doctor, too much. Perhaps some of this one’s success might rub off on me.