16 Jan 11 | Re: A minor affirmation of faith
Before Christmas I speculated that God might sometimes be found in a teapot. Well, how about a box of crackers?
This weekend, my wife and I were invited to a dedication (the equivalent of a christening) at the Grand Union Vineyard Church. This is the kind of church that I, an Anglican, very much enjoy visiting. It has a small, lively congregation who worship very informally, with lots of modern worship songs and unscripted prayer. They are clearly people with a strong faith. And probably uncoincidentally, I felt that faith played a part more than usual in the weekend’s events.
The dedication was to be followed by a bring and share lunch, where everyone attending brings some food of their choice to provide a spread for all to enjoy. This is a faith-based concept, which I have heard elsewhere called a Faith Lunch, since there is often minimal planning involved and you have to trust that the guests’ choices will combine to create a sensible buffet lunch, not thirty-nine lemon meringue pies and a jar of pickled onions. It also posed us with a particular problem: we were staying overnight in a Travel Tavern with no access to a fridge, and would not have time to shop on the morning before the dedication. What could we bring?
After some consideration, we hit on the idea of bringing cheese. This was perfect: Cambridge market has two excellent cheese stalls, and within reason, cheese actually benefits from being stored at room temperature. We duly went and bought some cheese from the market on our way to get the bus out of Cambridge, but there was one problem: one cheese stall didn’t sell crackers, and the other had sold out of them.
We wouldn’t be able to go shopping on the way to the dedication, so that was it: we were bringing some serious cheese, cheese-course cheese, with no crackers (or grapes). I did suggest that perhaps another guest would bring some crackers, but we thought it unlikely. Reader, would you bring a box of crackers to a bring and share lunch? Still, our heads did not drop. In the spirit of the weekend, we decided to have faith and trust that all would be well.
So we arrived in Milton Keynes, went to Ikea, got to our hotel, fell asleep, woke up, had breakfast and went to the church (not a traditional church building, but a very modern meeting hall or room), cheese in tow. With some trepidation* we went into the lunch room. And there, on the table, nowhere near any cheese, was a box of assorted cheese biscuits. The Lord had spoken to some unknown attendee and told them to bring the crackers. There were even digestives in the shape of a loaf of bread. In a small way, our faith had been justified. And I know this isn’t much, but the general point often stands: don’t worry, have faith, and you will be rewarded. We were rewarded with a delicious buffet lunch, dessert and fully appointed cheese course.
Finally, I should record that the dedication was an excellent event. I would recommend the Grand Union Vineyard Church to anyone in the Milton Keynes area who likes lively, informal modern worship with good music and some well-informed Bible commentary, in an extremely welcoming and child-friendly environment.
Posted by GARY CLELAND at 20:57
*According to Mick Foley, this is one of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s favourite words.