The church as a pilot light in the community?
We think in modern terms, where an admirable leader doesn’t want worship but rather wants their ‘people’ to be happy & fulfilled; and this is very much in contrast to an Old Testament and Greek mythological view of God and gods where obeisance and worship were requisite. We ought therefore to wonder what the point of church services is; and if we question what the point of church services is then we next gravitate to pondering the justification for spending a lot of time & money keeping churches open. Perhaps the answer is that keeping small local village churches open means that there is a ‘pilot light’ maintained in the community. One that CAN spark something more if/when required. The corollary of that however is that the church community has to be sensitive and alert to the needs of the wider community; and also that church services are a means to an end rather than the end in itself. The final thought on the pilot idea is that for the great majority of the time it isn’t needed; it is only in need that the pilot light ignites something bigger; and that we may find it frustrating to irrelevant for much of the time. Perhaps the only answer for that feeling of personal irrelevance is to go back to the mantra of letting every little thing you do contribute to the kingdom of God on the basis that sooner of later the balance will tip on any one issue – and that balance point may not be seen for many years to come.