Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 15 January 2023

 I’ve just booked a return flight to Perth, to attend a friend’s ordination at Bunbury Cathedral. As they say on product review sites, Pro: A catch-up with our greatest concentration of pals in the southern hemisphere. Good music and liturgy. The Rose and Crown. Con: Three nights away from Leisa, Maudie and the cockatiels. Long flights, especially west-bound. And airports. 

Townsville Airport is still a breeze compared to capital cities. But it’s not quite so friendly as it used to be, since the lovely, dopey security man was replaced by full body scanners. “What’s that in your pocket?” “Er, nothing, oh yes, a handkerchief.” “Why didn’t you put it on the tray?” “It’s only a handkerchief.” “Doesn’t matter, you shouldn’t go through the scanner gate with it.” Who knew that handkerchiefs were such a threat to the safety of the realm? Metal detector, I get, but c’mon, a handkerchief detector?

 

On the face of it, God has a moral detector to deter me from entering his sanctuary. Ps 24, ‘Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?’ Well, who? ‘The one who has clean hands and a pure heart …’ Right, that’s me out. I try to make a point at communion of  assuring folk that there’s no moral detector in operation, Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” as the RC service has it, echoing the centurion in Matthew 8. But still, we wonder, is an alarm going to go off? Ps 5, if the psalmist is King David, he’d set off every siren and flashing light in the place, so badly wrong has he led his life. Instead, ‘But I, by your great love, can come into your house.’ In case there’s still any doubt,

Ps 130:

‘If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.’

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