The doors of St Paul’s Cathedral in London were wide open, and with many other tourists we went in. While there, a message was broadcast. It was an invitation to attend the lunchtime Eucharist.
At the appointed time a group of us were led into the carved choir stalls that were adorned with red shaded lamps. As we gathered together the priest’s compassion, humility, and love embraced us all.
During the sharing of the bread and wine, the altar around which we gathered became a quiet oasis. Beyond us the footfalls and murmur of tourists to the Cathedral continued to ebb and flow.
All too soon the service was over and we were fanning out into the world from which we had come.
When recalling the awe-inspiring dome of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, St Paul’s equally awe-inspiring words in 1 Corinthians 6:19 came to mind,
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit … ?
From these words I conclude that we are the church on two legs, the means by which the Holy Spirit is present in the world offering God’s love to others.
This may seem daunting, yet we can be encouraged because much of Jesus’ ministry was conducted beyond the synagogue. His aisles were the dusty highways and byways, the altar, where he broke bread, a hillside or a table in an upper room. A bedroom or beside a road became a sanctuary of healing, and his lectern, on one occasion, was a boat.
At this time when cathedrals are mainly tourist venues, and church-going has slipped off the agenda for many, I’m persuaded that it is through our everyday interactions with others that we too, like the priest in St Paul’s in London, can share God’s love.
To aid us, the Holy Spirit will be our teacher as Jesus promised in John 14:26. And when in need of wisdom we can simply ‘ask’ trusting that we ‘will receive’ Matthew 7:7.