In Darrington with Wentbridge
Coffee Morning 9am-11.00am Mondays The Reading Room, Philips Lane
Holy Communion 10.30am Thursdays Darrington Church, Church Lane
Back in the autumn of 1992 I spent three months at theological college at Trinity College in Singapore. It was a fabulous experience training with Christians from all over the world, with different cultures, languages, and from different denominations. One thing which has remained with me is the suddenness with which it gets dark. One minute it is light, but pop into a shop for a moment, come out and it is dark. Here in Britain there are lengthy periods of twilight and dawn and dusk, but there it's all over before you can blink.
Faith is like any learning - it either makes sense or it doesn't, and if it doesn't make sense then trying to grapple with faith will be like trying to grapple with my maths homework as a child. I just couldn't do it. Faith is a strange thing, which might sound odd to hear from me, but I don;t assume that it comes easily to many people, although children have an innate sense of awe and wonder and with that there is often a belief in God.
The rest of us have to work at faith, we have to learn, or as it is put 'read, mark, learn and inwardly digest'. I am writing this just before St Peter and St Paul's day. St Paul worked really hard at his religious education lessons with the Pharisees, but the penny didn't drop, it was only when he met God on the road to Damascus that he really understood. His lifetime of learning suddenly made sense, and it provided him with such a deep insight into Christianity that we are still reading what he wrote to help us make sense of the Gospel.
Spiritual illumination can come slowly or suddenly, and one is not better than the other. But we need to work hard at learning about faith so that when illumination comes we recognise it for what it is and see God at work through Jesus Christ. The greatest danger would be to meet Jesus and yet not recognise him.