Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Singer or the Song - The Message or the Messenger?

This morning, we at St Mary's said an emotional fare well to our much loved rector and his wife.

They jointly conducted the service their last in this church where they have 'reigned' for the past seven years.

The congregation was twice its normal size, as was the choir, who despite the stifling heat sang their hearts out.

Last night we had a farewell party in the church which was very happy, light-hearted and great fun.  Today's celebration was of a very different order.

The personal sadness I feel at their departure made singing quite difficult and many people said the same thing, which made me stop and think for a moment about how we view our clergy.

It is I suppose, natural to become attached to the person/people who lead the prayer life of the  church but when should the ties be loosened?

The five, seven, or more years spent by the average ordained minister  in his/her church are but a small step in their personal journey, and realistically, an even smaller one in the life of an eight hundred year old church.
Yet the impact each one makes leaves lasting affects on the people they serve.

We are told we are the church, and that the building and the clergy who pass through it are simply there to aid the prayerful way of life we should all strive to live, but for those of us who spend rather more than just an hour or so on a Sunday in that person's company there is the dilemma of attachment and reliance to cope with when the incumbent moves on.

My answer to the question I posed in the title of this post is, that both are equally important.  A song no matter how beautiful is nothing without a singer to interpret it, and a message with no messenger to deliver it will never be received.

When the mixture is  right you get, as we have been lucky enough to have, a solid foundation for the Christian way of life and a community with a heart.

Bless you Shane and Micaela and thank you.

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