Posted by: Andrew | May 15, 2014

What is Permanence?

Recently I had the privilege to preach at St Nicholas Church, Curdworth in North Warwickshire. This delightful church will be 850 years old in 2015. I always think it’s amazing to stand and preach in a place which has been used for Christian worship consistently week in-week out for many centuries. To stand in a line of Godly preachers and proclaim the word of God is awe inspiring. To look round a building that old is to see something of permanence, many of the stones have been there for the full 850 years, although there have been additions and changes during that time. So much history has happened even in a small village like Curdworth. It’s recorded that the first skirmishes of the English Civil War took place there in 1642.

On reflection I thought of three types of permanence I’d experienced during my visit

Physical: The building really has stood there for 850 years. If someone from that time came back bits of it they would still recognise.

Spiritual: There has been a congregation worshipping there all that time, still using forms of words that would be familiar (if translated into Latin or French) to the original worshippers. Yet obviously there have been hundred or even thousands of people over the years who have been regular worshippers there. The permanence  is through the continual re-telling and re-enacting of the Gospel story.

Geographical: Outside there is a field where battles were fought some 350 years ago. It’s still a field with new grass that has been used for many different purposes by many different people and groups. Yet it remains a field. Grass, which might seem the most temporary of plants easily sown and very easy to uproot has outlasted the years. Permanence

As Christians we talk about God’s unchanging nature, his permanence. Maybe a reflection on different types of permanence can shed new light onto the meaning of God’s eternal permanence.

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