Recently someone said to me, If the Church is about worshipping God, then we should work out what sort of worship God wants and do it better! This statement echoes the sentiment Matt Redman expressed in the song The heart of Worship. When you strip the extraneous away, what do we find at the heart of worship? Matt Redman’s lyric said, It's all about You, Jesus. When we consider our approach to worship, are we focused on Jesus and bringing the worship God desires?
When I first arrived as minister here, God impressed upon me the image, Greyfriars is a ship set sail. It seems to me that for the last two years most of the crew has been confined to quarters, to ride out the COVID storm, and now we are beginning to emerge and work to get things ship shape once again. As members of the crew we each have a part to play, but with COVID still spreading in the community many are still being cautious. In this season of church life, How do we care for each other?
When I began attending church as a teenager it was all new to me. I didn’t know the songs or what was expected. I loved hearing the bible being read and I found myself nourished by the preaching. The church cared for young people and soon I was involved in bible class camps, youth nights, café services – and all manner of things to help people grow in their faith.
My mother told me of a bombing raid near her home in WW2. She lived near the shipyard in Belfast where warships would come for repair. Following the raid children were evacuated south to the coast so they could be in a safer place. War is messy and imprecise, innocent people get hurt, lives are lost and even little children are not spared – such are the terrors of war! I am sure many of you, like me, feel a sense of anger and exasperation at the futility of war, the loss of civilian life and the immense cost, physically, emotionally, socially and economically.