Today was the day when church people, armed with staves, marched on one church (St John’s this year) and got sworn in. It was the Archdeacon’s visitation to the Deanery.
It went well, Michael’s talk was well-measured and useful, and it did not contain a reference to ‘downspouts.’ Well why should it, I hear you write in CAPITALS? I don’t know, but every Archdeacon’s visitation I ever went to in Manchester had at least a joke about a downspouts – or a comment that it wasn’t just about downspouts. One explained why they are so important. That man went on to become principal of an ordination course. Mark my words!
My little highlight from the night was a slight slip of the tongue. Instead of saying we ‘pray to Thee’ it came out we ‘pray to Three.’
No, a mobile network has not been recognised as giving best access to the divine, but it is about communication. We do have to engage with God as Thee. Not in archaic language, but in the informal and familiar. You used to address you people you knew well as Thee. People you less well you politely addressed You. It was obvious which one to use. You pray to the one who is close, known, and beside you.
Father, Jesus or Spirit? All Three, of course, as the man said. God is spirit, and we must speak to Him in spirit. Our words put into sentences what we are pouring out to God. And, as Jesus told us, we don’t need to ask Him, but we ask the Father, just like He did. But, as you know, we only know the Father through the Son, so Jesus is at the heart of it all. Doesn’t it sound complicated?
Thankfully, you don’t have to write an essay on how it works, just come as a beloved child and open your mouth and speak. You will find it is all working, be patient.
Like those church wardens, lay down your staves in obedience, and take them up in service.