Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 29 January 2023
We have some new chairs at KUC, comfortable and with arms! Sitting down in church isn’t universal. Some of you might have, er, endured an Eastern Orthodox eucharist where the congregation stands for a couple of hours (and wanders about kissing icons, or pops out for a quick fag, just to, you know, keep the circulation going). While traditional Lutherans sit to sing but stand to pray (and, so a joke goes, lie down for the sermon).
In the New Testament, believers are often represented standing around while God the Father and/or God the Son are seated on their respective thrones. A few weeks ago we ended the carol, “Where like stars, his children crowned, all in white, shall stand around”. An exception to this is the Feeding of the Five (or Four) Thousand. Unusually, the story is told in all four Gospels, Matthew 14 and 15, Mark 6 (the eye-witness scene beloved of NT scholars, “sit down in groups on the green grass”) and Mark 8, Luke 9 and John 6. Jesus tells the hungry crowd, or asks his disciples to tell them, to sit down. Then they are miraculously fed.
Those new chairs? They’re there for us to be fed, by Word and Sacrament and by each other’s love and mutual encouragement. I’ve blessed lots of inanimate objects, among them: 110 Harley Davidsons, a VW Campervan, a bridge, houses. I’m not around for a few weeks to bless the chairs, and by the time I’m back on Feb 12 you’ll have got used to them, they’ll already be a blessing. But as you ease yourself into them, why not pray,
Lord, feed me.