Today I went to church with my daughter and extended family. When you have a 15mth old to look after, however well behaved they are there is not really the opportunity for the kind of reflection and meditative silence that I used to so enjoy in services. There is no real chance to focus on what the prayers are saying or really focus on the readings with a young child demanding raisins and dropping her bottle – “uh oh”. As a result other parts of the service become a bit more prominent – hymns (because they can “sing” along) the peace (because they get to flash a smile at everyone else in the congregation) and communion (because they get to walk up the aisle and are transfixed by being blessed and it is so special to have them with you when you take the bread and wine).
It reminded me that whether I am doing my prayers “well” or not, whether I am focused on God or not does not determine God’s attitude to me. He accepts whatever head/soul space I have to give him and my worship becomes more practical and attitudinal.
On a final note I want to pay tribute to the Rev. Dorothy Micklethwaite who took her last service at my parents’ church today. She married me and my sister and we were both there. It was so lovely and she is so lovely. A person full and overflowing with love, so much so that I am often amazed by the shamelessness of it! I don’t think she will ever read this, but I would ask that you might remember her in your prayers as she feels that she is going into the wilderness, directed to by God, and as we know God can’t be ignored. So she is a little uncertain what the future will bring. Thank you.