The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Ken Luxon is a Local Preacher, storyteller, and Bath Tour Guide. He is married to Pearl and has recently moved to Shirehampton. Ken also volunteers at The New Room & Charles St.
John 6 v 67 – 69
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Many of us feel tired, worn down, fed up and hopeless. Is there really a future for the church? Can it be resurrected? Can these dry bones live?
Our numbers decline, our age increases. The level of apathy towards organised religion increases. Maybe we should all give up, let this version of the church die off so that something new can arise from the ashes?
But I am called back by these words from John’s gospel. It makes me think back to when I first encountered Methodism. What was the attraction? (All right, this was when I first met Pearl and she was a part of the attraction, most definitely.) But there was also the involvement of lay people in leading the worship. There was the closely harnessed ideas of personal and social holiness. The fellowship, biblical focus and the joy. Also that fact that all these elements went right back to the beginnings of Methodism.
The new Methodist UK president, the Revd Richard Teal, said last week, “A church which loses its memory about its basic foundation has no future.”
Perhaps it is worth holding on to the Methodist Church? Perhaps we can rediscover our first love and find those new ways of doing old things. Many people are sharing in our online worship offerings. Many more than previously came in person. Some are folk that we should have reached out to, those physically unable to get to our buildings. Others are attracted by our worship. Perhaps we can use “new ways.” Perhaps these dry bones can live.
If we follow “The Holy One Of God” then we are following the only person who can give hope. That path is the only one to follow. But it will lead us to The Kingdom Of God on earth. Amen.