Please join us for Worship.
The music this week is from the Music Group, with contributions from Flemington Hallside.
Auto-generated Closed Captions are available.
Bitesize Bible II
Good morning! It’s nice to be on the other side of the camera for a change. It’s been a wild few months, hasn’t it? We’ve been living in a disaster movie, except, unlike most disaster movies this one has been exceptionally boring. Our worship life has been completely altered from the norm. We no longer meet in our church buildings, instead we meet in our own living rooms. But then, that’s just how Church had been for hundreds of years; people didn’t have set buildings to meet in, and just as now Worship was shared in our homes. And, to me, it looks like we’re going to be like this for a while.
How are you keeping yourself busy during lockdown? I’m sure most of us have been glued to our TVs and our devices. Maybe you’ve taken up a new hobby now you’ve got some time to. I know that my mum has been loving the time she’s got to get back into sewing, for example.
Myself? I’ve been doing this – church. I have been using the skills that I gained at university, adding to them every week. I’ve been filming, recording, playing the bass, singing, editing, mixing, and arranging, designing, website-ing, and now preaching, all in the hope of keeping our church community alive. Speaking of Cambuslang Parish, the contributions from our Music Group, our Worship Team, the Communications Team, Tom, and Graham – I think they have been tremendous. It fills me with gladness that there are so many people happy to dedicate their time in the midst of crisis to keep us afloat, spiritually. God has given us the passion to pursue these creative endeavours, which has allowed us to repay him by spreading his word through our worship.
“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”Matthew 7:7
I’ve also been reading the Dune series of books by Frank Herbert. I’m just astounded at the quality of writing, and of social commentary. If you’re not familiar, I won’t go into too much detail, but the books spend a great deal of time on the facets of government, and the control of people. It looks very critically at religion as a tool of statesmanship. Certainly, in the past the church has wrestled with this issue. Jesus never intended his Church to be used to suppress those he didn’t agree with. As we know, the opposite was true.
“And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”Deuteronomy 10:19
“Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”Isaiah 1:17
Today though, I think that in this country we have moved past that corruption of religion and are now able, like the original church, to focus on God, and his worship.
It’s interesting that if you asked a non-Christian to name Christian celebrations, I’m sure very few of them would name Pentecost. Interesting because without this day, our church would not exist at all. Pentecost is the day the Church of Jesus Christ was born. The day the disciples were able to face those around them with courage imbued in them by the holy spirit, the day they began to spread the Good News of Christ. The disciples had been celebrating the Festival of Weeks and, seven weeks and a day since Passover, the Holy Spirit came to them and imbued them with its power. And God’s gift of the Holy Spirit does not discriminate. Since that day, the holy spirit has torn down barriers. Social barriers, educational barriers, racial barriers. God includes all his children. The poor and the ragged, the scholar and the unschooled, white and black, homosexual and heterosexual, male and female. This gift enabled the disciples to break down the barrier of language and communicate with the entire world.
From then as to now, communication has been at the heart of Church. Just as the first disciples did, through communication we grow and spread Gods message. We have adapted over the centuries to find new and innovative ways to communicate, exponentially increasing our numbers, just as happened two thousand years ago. This is why throughout history, the Church – Christianity, has often been at the forefront of communication technology. In the past that has been architecture, or literature, the loom, the printing press. I would say many churches have slowed as of late. But now we are seeing through the necessities of lockdown-life Churches the world over embracing online and broadcast worship.
Church has changed. And it’s nothing to be afraid of. Church has changed may times in the past. In the last ten years we have seen there be far fewer and smaller choirs in churches, we’ve seen projector screens crop up in almost every church. In the past 30 years we’ve seen people dress far less formally; gone are the hats and the ties. In Cambuslang we have had changes in ministers; Ian Cathcart for Neil Glover, and soon Peter Nimmo for Leslie Milton. We have had merging’s of parishes, from Trinity St. Pauls, St. Andrews, and Old Parish church into now Cambuslang Parish Church
During the Cambuslang Wark in 1742, some 30,000 people took to worship in the natural amphitheatre of the Preaching Breas. Worshiping completely without a building, much as we are now. We’ve seen changes in Christianity through people such as Martin Luther and John Knox who saw that Gods word had been put to misuse and endeavoured to escape that corruption.
And, through all these changes, Gods work has carried on. As Christians, we adapt. We work together through Christ to overcome the difficulties presented to us. Many churches have not been so well equipped to adapt to this change, but we are trying, and we are learning, and we are growing in faith. The wider church as a whole has come together to extend olive branches of knowledge to each other. The collaboration I’ve seen between churches has been fantastic. We are sharing what we learn about making church work online with each other. Sharing the music, we make.
I think that in many ways, church moving online is exactly what has needed to happen to church if it is to survive. Modern life has pushed many people away from a normal Sunday worship, but with church moving online it allows people to take that worship at any time that fits them best. I would rather more people participating in worship in this way, than not participating at all. I don’t know about Flemington’s situation, but I think if our viewing figures are to be believed then we’re reaching more people with these services than we were before. Imagine what we could do if we keep it up? Keep innovating and continue to grow.
I hope that even once we can return to church, we continue to put effort into streaming our church services. Allowing all those who are not able to be physically present to be virtually present. Continuing the spirit of Pentecost forward, and spreading God’s word not only inside the confines of our building, but truly reaching out into world.
Please join us in worship for Purify My Heart, and let us be filled with the Refiner’s Fire
Thank you for joining us in our Stand Up for Sunday worship today, which is our monthly Youth Led service in collaboration with Cambuslang Parish and Flemington Hallside. We hope you took something of value from this worship, as we know that we have in producing it. Thank you to Lauren for giving us our prayer at the start, who I know did it on very short notice. Thank you to Hannah for her insightful bitesize bible. Thanks to the Netton’s for their reading, and thank you to Georgia for her thoughtful prayer for others.
See you next week.