<-- Google Analytics START --> <-- Google Analytics END -->

john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, April 09, 2009
    The benefit of the doubt
    We live in extraordinary spiritual times, when it is common to see a large part of society leading exemplary lives without religion of any persuasion. They come to church to look at architecture or hear music. And sometimes to take part in delightful old rites, or sad ones, but with no real belief, and with the Church giving them, in its love, the benefit of the doubt.

    It has happened before. The Revd Charles Wesley had officiated for years when, one Sunday morning, about to set off to take the service, he felt for the first time, almost physically as well as spiritually, the warmth of Christ. He remembered a verse in Leviticus, “The fire shall ever be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.” And he wrote:

    O thou who camest from above
    The fire celestial to impart,
    Kindle a flame of sacred love
    On the mean altar of my heart,

    believing that he had not been a Christian until that moment.
    The sort of wisdom we've come to anticipate from Ronald Blythe. Celebrating the benefit of the doubt; perfect for Maundy Thursday. I understand what he means about Wesley. One day, maybe, I'll believe that I'm a Christian too.