Sunday, 20 December 2020

Back in church in Cape Town

Without notice or direction

Last Sunday, we did lie-in though it was unclear from visiting the St. George’s Cathedral website whether in-person services were taking place. When we finally stepped out, it was already three hours after the morning service starts, there was no indication that the church had been open earlier in the Sunday.

The big noticeboard had disappeared and the other one normally for announcing other events had the service notes for the previous week and when it was updated it was still lagging by a week. We determined we would find out today. Woke up early and made for church without knowing what the situation would be. We were already there before we were assured.

Finding order in our disorder

Stepping in, we sanitised our hands, had our temperature taken and then signed in our names before taking our seats in a socially distanced arrangement of chairs. Ours were probably the closest together, and on the row behind, the seats to be left vacant were marked with an X in masking tape.

The service is usually conducted from a pamphlet and an insert, shuffling between the two to determine where were we at was an art of resignation because some of the recitations referenced from pamphlet to insert and vice versa were in neither, we just followed the experience.

Between the standing and sitting, it was not entirely clear whether the congregation was to join in or not, I whispered that parts I could follow and the singing was best carried by the choir, numbering just a few but rousing in their renditions and voices. On the procession at the close of the service, I was surprised that so few could project so well, they were probably joined by angels.

A prophet of lustful compromise

After the sermon, we were about to recite the Apostle’s Creed, when from the back of the church in what we first thought was a variation to the Sung Eucharist, a man dressed well enough to evade suspicion called out declaring he was a prophet of God and began to rain curses like prophets of the Old Testament for some perceived sin of whoever got his goat, none of which I intend to repeat of what I heard.

The President simply continued the service unperturbed and the usher gently took him by the arms to go and find other wildernesses to rot away in. My understanding is the office of the prophet changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament, a prophet will speak by the Holy Spirit to edify and build the church, confirming things that are unresolved or remain mysteries.

The blessing we had

The age when the prophet had no grace and peace to offer is long past and those who proclaim to be prophets of God are tested of the truth and the alignment with scripture and that determines whether they are speaking their own vanities to instil fear and loathing or lifting hearts, minds, and lives to the amazing grace of God.

We continued our service to the end; the open doors of the church are inviting to those who solemnly seek to reflect and pray whilst being respectful of other worshippers. Holy Communion during pandemic times is just the bread without the wine. It was a blessing to be back in our church in Cape Town.

No comments:

Post a comment

Comments are accepted if in context are polite and hopefully without expletives and should show a name, anonymous, would not do. Thanks.