Thought for the Day by Gill Griggs (St. Chad’s)
When I was about 10 or 11 I went pretty regularly to services at the local Parish Church. This was All Saints, Sedgley, a sizeable village, set in-between Dudley and Wolverhampton, two towns on the edge of the ‘black country’.
All Saints was a well-patronised church and some might have questioned the need for a group of people who came ‘in mission’ to the church. I wish I could remember more of what the missioners said and did. I do know that whatever I have forgotten in the intervening years since then, they were amongst those who kindle the fire of the Spirit and who help people to come closer to God..
We might say that Paul, in his visits to different communities, had a similar effect; so much so, that when he came to Ephesus, people tried to persuade him to stay longer. Paul realised that people who had listened to Apollos, and knew only John the Baptist’s message of repentance, could experience something richer. This had to do with a new way of life in which people knew that God’s grace was readily available to them, and not everything was dependant on them.,They didn’t have to ‘work for it’. When Paul laid his hands on them, they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. (I have always found the idea of speaking with tongues difficult, which may be one of the reasons why I have not shared that experience.)
One of our close friends has suggested that for him, God is mediated through music, both listening and singing. Others might well say that for them God is communicating through the natural world. God can speak to us directly or indirectly; the method doesn’t really matter. What is important is that we know that God’s grace can be mediated to us in all sorts of experiences and relationships.