>Hot on the heels of yesterday's reflections, the Gospel at this morning's Eucharist was, I thought, quite staggeringly appropriate....because I read it as Mark 2 1-27 . New wine and old wineskins, the Sabbath made for man and not vice versa. It all made huge sense! So, I found myself talking to the(mostly rather older) congregation about what this might mean for us, how we might have to face the realisation that the style of church which had nourished and supported us all our life long might not be part of God's future in this community, or anywhere; how the concept of Sabbath had changed since our childhoods (when,let's face it, there was nothing but church available by way of Sunday entertainment) , and how it would not encourage anyone to engage with God if all they heard from their Christian neighbours was a succession of loud "tuts" about the demise of the great British Sunday, and alot of muttering that the world would be a much better place if the youth of the valley were being bored in church, rather than entertained on the football field... I talked about sitting light to things that had been both helpful and precious, but hanging on to the rock of truth that we are loved by God and exist to respond to that love. Some of them "got it" immediately and enthusiastically...some were sad but thoughtful...some, unsurprisingly, are convinced that their brand new vicar has taken leave of her senses. Church at the gym? Church not on Sundays? That can't be right!
Actually, - as those using the RCL Eucharistic lectionary will already have worked out, the thing that really wasn't right was the reading! Not Mark 2 at all, but Mark 12. But wow, - what a gift to explore that passage while so many related thoughts were buzzing round in my head! Maybe, just maybe, it wasn't so much my stupidity as God's brilliance that caused me to mis-read in such an interesting way. Back at St M's, we had a Daily Missal so it could never have happened...at Church in the Valley, it's over to the small print of that little paperback lectionary or even the vicar's diary. Easy to misread, - but sometimes errors make for really interesting results.