Friday, September 01, 2006

Fish 'n' Chips

Tonight, for tea, we went to a chippie near the Salvation Army in Bellshill. The Alhambra is a good takeaway (its not the chippie in Elie, Fife) and we thought we would sit in. We were going to the hall for a BLOC practice.

Anyway, as we walked into the chippie to find a table... there was a bizarre sense that we had just walked into the saloon in a Western and everything had gone quiet. People watched us from the entrance to our seats. It felt uncomfortable... but got me thinking. We were watched because this isn't our community. We were strangers in the area.

This made me long for the day when my church is within my community... and I no longer need to physically or even spiritually commute. You know what I mean when I say physically... My church is 2 or 3 miles away from our house. This isn't a huge commute... I could cycle it, I suppose... but I am never going to walk passed a local when I walk Pippin... or while I am walking to my work. I am only present in this community when I am at church... and not 24-7.

In addition, what I mean by spiritual commuting is the old chestnut of secular vs spiritual. We see it all as divided and commute to church... we go to church, just as I go to work. We travel from secular to sacred and back again.

The thing is... there is no such thing as sacred and secular... As Larson and Osborne put it in the emerging church :
...we must realise that in this situation, when the wall no longer exists between the secular and the sacred, it is the world for which Jesus Christ lived and died and for which He now longs. When the veil of the temple was rent, it was not only an indication that Jesus' death on the cross opened a new access to God and made available the holiest of holies to man. The reverse is also true: God was no longer confined to the sanctuary, but was loose in the world to do His relentless and ruthless work of challenging, confronting, forgiving, redeeming, releasing, an enabling men to be sons of God.

Far from being a threat, the disintegration of the wall between sacred and secular is a fantastic opportunity for the emerging church.../
((page 112))

What I long for is the day when I can grab a chippie or a latte and not be followed like a stranger... but welcomed as a local. A local shining his particular light in this dark world.

Its about the whole of me... and my longing for my whole life to be one. To share church with likeminded people who I cohabit space with... or share interests with.

All this from fish and chips!!! What do you think?

Technorati Tags: ,


Paula said...

I think I want some fish and chips.

(You can't get good fish 'n chips here in land-locked Alberta)

weareallghosts said...

Next time you are in Scotland... we'll treat you to a chippie from Elie or Anstruther in Fife (East of Scotland... below Dundee)

caldjr said...

Thanks for the thoughts on this Thomas. We encountered the same thing prior to our move from Dundee to Glenrothes recently. We were worshipping in Perth and until we became parents, we were free and easy in terms of where we ate so we could be there for worship activities etc but still felt very distant. This became especially more true when Kathryn came along and suddenly our time wasn't as flexible and our time for Church stuff decreased because of our commute. Sadly, house prices restricted a move to Perth for us so this is where God led us to Glenrothes. We can now walk to church (about 20mins) and last night even got a carry out from the chippy next to the hall - how great is that. Its really releasing to be able to be in the community in which we worship so I know exactly where you're coming from on this one. Suddenly, it is easier to be part of 'church' because we haven't got a 20min drive to get there. Suddenly, our involvement in church is free-er and easier. Suddenly, God is beginning to use us more (although I think He together with Chris & Dawn have more in store!). I pray for your future plans and hope that God brings you to a point where Church and community combine both physically and spiritually.


Related Posts with Thumbnails