The Flower festival was a wonderful opportunity for us all to gather in creativity and the View from the Vicarage written after the weekend gives a deeper and maybe slightly more radical view of the glorious rebellion of flowers, music and refreshments! At the Sunday service there was a wonderful mix of abundant openness and ownership of our Parish church by all the community and the solemn witness of a developing faith commitment by Julie and Jackie who have been in and around the church all their lives but now wanted to be Confirmed.
As Christy and I sat discussing the possible opposing tensions of this service, from unbounded openness to personal commitment, we wondered what our broad, unconditional and inclusive expression of the faith was saying about the Christian life. We hold that Gods Grace is not partial; it does not require special prayers or sacraments to allow that Grace to flow. But if Gods Grace is not limited to a particular faith or to an elect withing a faith, why do we have sacraments and services such as baptism and confirmation?
We concluded (as a thought for now) that it is about personal commitment to a path, to The Way. It is about a step further into service, a step further towards the nature of Jesus servant-hood. It was about watching Julie and Jackie make a public statement about their discipleship, their new lives, their desire to pick up the cross. In witnessing this we all saw the possibility that our lives could be created around the beautiful way of Christ. Not in or out, not better or worse, not saved and unsaved but ….. travelling on, taking the fork in the road that is maybe a narrow way saying ‘I want to be known as someone who walks with Jesus’. That is ALL, that is all that is asked of us …… and that is more than enough.