Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 25 June 2023.

 (I wonder if they've missed me? 😊)

Well, we’ve lived in our little cottage for six months now. We love it, it’s comfortable and homely, and very “us” - you know what I mean by that. Maudie the German Shepherd loves it, she can cavort around the yard all day long, fetching balls which Leisa throws morning and evening, and making me chase her for those same balls during the day while Leisa is at work to pay the mortgage. I think that the cockatiels love it. It’s difficult to tell. Holly, the hen bird, would never let on, and Glimfeather, the cock bird, would chirp happily in a Force 4 cyclone. I’m sitting on the front deck as I tap this, looking up at Castle Hill right behind us.

It’s not perfect, of course. The irrigation points leak, and the system is counter-intuitive in the extreme to programme. The bathroom slopes alarmingly to one end. It’s on one of the busiest roads in Townsville. That’s not such a problem for me until I put my hearing aids in.

Maudie loves it most of all when we’re both home, weekday evenings and all weekend. In fact, I think that she would be happy if we lived under a railway bridge so long as we were together. Which points to why I love it. Because Leisa lives here.

 

The psalmist (Ps 26) says  “LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells.” And in Ps 122 he expands on that to include other believers - “the tribes” - and his family and friends, that’s what makes Jerusalem in general and God’s house in particular so precious. The days of a brick and mortar (or tin and timber) church building may well be numbered. We shall have to get used to new ways of gathering, “Fresh Expressions” of church. A physical building, located in space and time, holds dear memories of holy moments, of happy (and sad) rites of Christian passage. It stands (literally) concrete witness to the Gospel. But God’s glory, and our love for each other, and proclamation of the Good News of salvation, isn’t confined to four walls, however hallowed. The old chorus has it, “Where Jesus is, ’tis Heaven there.”

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