A sniff of sanctity

I spent last Sunday morning with our congregations in Glenrothes and Lochgelly. We have had difficult times in the Central Fife Group, which also includes our congregation at Leven. But Thomas has come from Canada to offer leadership after a long clergy vacancy. And now there are signs of new life, possibility and hope.

Incense.

The waft of it hit me as we walked into the church. These congregations have an underlying catholic tradition – but this wasn’t about moving ‘up the candle’. More about evoking the memory of an historic tradition of worship and the confidence and rootedness which came with it.

Beyond that was something which related to my musings at the String Quartet concert recently – and to a passing comment on a Radio 4 book programme which I was listening to in the traffic. It’s about getting in touch with the transcendent in some way. After all that is what worship is for. But if its too much of a ‘small congregation struggle’ or if we overdose on friendliness and accessibility …. then strangely the transcendence moves further away

If we had been talking about it, we might have had a lengthy discussion about the first of the Nine Marks of Mission – Worship which renews and Transforms. But the waft of incense did it better.

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