Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Trains, planes, soldiers and faith

As a boy I used to walk past the (Ian Allan) train spotter's platform in North London's Finsbury Park and wonder at the people who populated that temple of locomotive transport with their camera, binoculars and Ian Allan locoshed books.

Time passed and I found myself atop the Queen's building at London's Heathrow Airport and was amazed at the 'plane spotters with their airband radios, cameras, binoculars and Ian Allan aircraft registration books.

The scene moved again and I found myself in the company of men who fought military campaigns in miniature (25mm) - from Greeks and Romans through to Napoleonic (first and second Empire) and on through WWI and II and into Dungeons and Dragons and space wars. The people were the same - hours were spent painting, researching and eventually battling. The only difference was that I didn't see any Ian Allan books though!

Church appeared on the horizon and again I was amazed and captivated by the Christians, Bibles and notepads under their arms, as they made their way to Church on a Sunday  (usually twice) and turned up on a Wednesday evening for another service and on Friday nights for all-night prayer and Saturdays (it was only all-night once a month) for special training days and other events.

Now it seems that once again things have moved and once where you would have stood if you hadn't been in the building half an hour before the service it's possible to get a seat, many seats in fact, regardless of when you turn up. Not only that but should you chance your arm and pop in for an evening service there's an extremely good chance that should the song 'I love you with the love of the Lord' be on the menu, you'll cause one of the other handful present to blush!

Now I'm told that I need to watch the big names on the TV and enjoy the personal touch that bringing it into my house brings! It's all about my having a personal faith and sharpening it by listening to the latest clever person who will send me a 'free gift' should I send money and support their ministry - but, thinks I, if I send money and get something in the post by return, regardless of how you've portrayed it, I've bought it! Not only that but the more I send the more I receive in the post. This was called commerce when I was a lad!!!

Where are the ordinary folk who want to sharpen their minds, engage in healthy and robust dialogue and actually work at honing their faith into something of worth? The good, ordinary, decent people who want to live in community and celebrate the cross, resurrection and salvation? The people who are their in a crisis rather than having yet another one (but don't worry there's always another preacher/teacher who will whisper reassurance and take you're money - and always another fool who will pay it and believe).

'But I don't have a personal faith!' 
I tell them
'I have a personal salvation and a corporate faith!' 

I'm called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus the Christ and to read, learn, change, pray, grow and keep on doing it until the game ends.

It's so blinking simple - or so I thought?

I see people who can find thousands for their new caravan or the trophies that mark them out as an enthusiast and yet, if they're Christian, they appear unable to spend time (or money) to make their faith work. I know - it's probably me what's got it wrong, after all - their Christians aren't they?

I know - they told me they were.

Would have been nice if I hadn't needed to be told I reckons!!

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