Who is it that you seek?

We seek the Lord our God.

Do you seek Him with all your heart?

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Do you seek Him with all your soul?

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Do you seek Him with all your mind?

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Do you seek Him with all your strength?

Amen. Christ, have mercy.

Some of the readers will immediatelly recognise this part of the morning prayer of the Northumbria Community, with whom we share a warm bond of friendship for a few years already. Part of that friendship is an annual visit of the friends from theĀ  Community to IBTS to hold a Northumbria Week, which has been happening this week. It’s great as always to see Roy, Ken and Jean who were doing classes and workshops for CAT students and others who wanted to join in, and it was good to welcome their friends Andy and Corine Lang who stayed for one night. Andy is a pastor and musician who plays Celtic music on his harp and guitar, so on Tuesday night we had a concert in our local Jeneralka restaurant – the idea was to make it open to folk from the neighbourhood (who would not respond to an invitation to visit us on site!). We were quite a crowd from IBTS, and there were also two visitors who were very curious about who’s going to play what and how and stayed throughout the whole evening with us. The waiters and some other visitors of the restaurant seated in another room were peering in, but trying to look as if they were busy with something else, not standing just for listening.

I think the idea itself – to have a concert in a local eatery/gathering place – was an important one regardles of ‘results’. After all, so many churches struggle with expressions of faith or life of a faith community taken out into a public space, unless for strictly evangelistic or humanitarian purposes. So it was a great exercise – to show that it’s not easy, as people won’t necessarily stream in rows, but worthwile nevertheless, as it conveys a right spirit, and indeed shapes a disposition which goes out to the world rather than expecting pagan folk to turn up in the church, promptly in time for Sunday worship.

The role of Sunday worship was also discussed in the postgraduate seminar Roy Searle led on Wednesday afternoon. The following idea from that seminar stuck with me: how in today’s world, public worship could be helpfully seen as a consequence of coming to Christ, not the starting point. So we spent quite a bit of the discussion time on how worship should inspire (kick?) the followers of Jesus to go out and look for (safe) spaces where others can encounter the God they do not yet know – and also to create such spaces, but that is a topic for another blog entry.

– Lina

Response: We seek the Lord our God.
Call: Do you seek Him with all your heart?
Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.
Call: Do you seek Him with all your soul?
Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.
Call: Do you seek Him with all your mind?
Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.
Call: Do you seek Him with all your strength?
Response: Amen. Christ, have mercy.Response: We seek the Lord our God.

Call: Do you seek Him with all your heart?

Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Call: Do you seek Him with all your soul?

Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Call: Do you seek Him with all your mind?

Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Call: Do you seek Him with all your strength?

Response: Amen. Christ, have mercy.

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