During the period of John Smith’s absence as locum I have been asked to lead the on-line worship. I have no idea, however, what you might call a partial locum for a locum; temporary, interim, short-term were all mentioned. No matter what, they all suggest this is not a permanent arrangement, and we all look forward to John returning to his duties once his treatment is completed and I would ask you to continue to remember him in your prayers..
But we do live in a rather interim world at present don’t we? Life as we know it is on hold to some extent or another. We wait with growing frustration for these times to pass, as pass they will, so that life can return to what we once knew, and we can return to church as we used to do as well.
We are in the process of discovering, however, that there is new way of being church. There is another way of having our faith encouraged and our commitment strengthened from that which we once knew. Had anybody suggested a wee while ago, that we could be seated at home sharing in worship, yet still feeling part of an unseen congregation we would have found it hard to comprehend. But it is happening.
A friend of mine for whom I preach on occasion asked me to take a service one Sunday while she had a well-deserved break. From the comfort of my living room I conducted a live Zoom service for a congregation just south of Glasgow.
These are exciting times for the church, exciting times for our congregations as we look forward to working out how the church will look in the new norm we are told to expect. So many good thigs have emerged recently, so much talent rising to the challenge. It would be a shame to lose sight of that.
The story of the Bible is the story of a people on the move from Egypt to the Promised Land, from Jerusalem to exile in Babylon and back again, and in the New Testament the movement of a gospel, and people, from Jerusalem to Rome and beyond. We belong to that tradition of a people who have to keep on the move to keep pace with the God who is out in front leading us.
With best wishes