Monday, 20 February 2017

Reefing the sails

Mark 2:27
Then Jesus said to them: "The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath..."
When I crewed for sailing friends, I didn't particularly like it when we had to reef the mainsail - that inevitably meant we were in for a bumpy ride! Of course it made things a lot safer but it also made the boat seem heavier, more sluggish, as though it didn't like being curtailed in its movement and freedom. I enjoyed shaking out the sails when we'd come through the worst of a storm and loved the feel of  the yacht restored to full power - as it was made to be.
There is a tendency in the Church of Scotland for folks to constantly operate under reefed conditions, blaming the structure and the constitution for imposing rules that limit freedom in all sorts of ways. Jesus often pointed out to the Pharisees how laws should permit us to be free rather than curtailed - free to love, free to be generous, free to embrace the other in our midst.
The popularity of the recent content of the Chalmers Lectures, focussing on reforming the church and its structures signalled a readiness to embrace change that takes cognisance of the post-Christendom era in which the church operates today and find new ways of working that will enable congregations and individuals to embrace the culture in which we find ourselves, discovering anew God's mission in the midst of that, a mission in which God invites us to participate.
Perhaps, before we change structures we need to rediscover to what it is we are being called . Once we have discerned our place in the Mission of God, we'll be able to put things in place that support and enable that calling. When we've shaken out the sails, allowed the wind of the Spirit to take us where she will, we can then adjust the tiller and follow where she leads, working out what we need to keep us on course as we go.


  1. Fabulous read thanks for sharing I go to camelon parish church and part off the group path off renewal

  2. Great to have you "on board"! :)