Apologies for my apparent absence during the last week. My journey has been a long one but it involved some good times with good friends and an interlude with Velvet Revolver in Brixton Academy to bring me to this point. And it is here at this point that I turn to the final leg of my dissertation and discover the blindingly obvious part of our worship life – Life is a Journey.
It sounds too obvious doesn’t it. I can’t have been missing this the whole time can I? I have spent years talking about how the liturgy of the church is supposed to be a journey. We should come in to worship and be changed by our encounter with God. We should be inspired to continue our walk with God. And yet I seem to have missed the point. It is all a journey!
I am reading Creating Uncommon Worship by Richard Giles and he has this notion that The Church would look completely different if Jesus followers had not been referred to as Christians but instead continued to be followers of “The Way” (Acts 24:14). We have subsequently put down roots and laid foundations for Church.
No matter how glorious or inspirational they can be, we pay a heavy price for our sacred buildings. In many of them the lack of ‘living stones’ has become and irrelevance beside the new-found craze to ‘preserve’ at all costs these dead stones redolent of a God who has (apparently) departed.
Robert Louis Stevenson, in Travels with a Donkey, wrote ‘For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travels sake. The great affair is to move.’ That says it perfectly. This too has been the insight of the Judeo-Christian tradition, an insight that history teaches us is all too easily buried beneath stability, success and worldly influence.