Sunday evening worship in August at St Chrysostom’s can be very quiet, and is often very special. Paul reflects on taking part in a Sunday Vespers.
Where exactly can I find God? I expect this is a question asked by countless people through the ages. For many of us He is in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, for others in the prayers we know so well and for others He is in the simple acts of kindness shown by strangers and I suppose for most Christians He is in all these things.
I was left pondering this question on Sunday evening after assisting at Vespers. Ann and I arrived in plenty of time to get ready, we set up with candles lit and gentle music playing, we had the psalter and service cards ready and started at 5pm sharp; it was a lovely service but there were only 3 of us!
We could have felt deflated by attendance but actually there was a real sense of God’s presence in the chancel for those 20 or so minutes and, however, much more than that, during the hour or so we had church open, a Spanish lady came into pray whilst the music played softly in the background, a gentleman came in part way through Vespers, lit a candle with a cheery hello to us in the chancel then left again. At the end a couple of gentlemen, probably homeless, came in and we had a cup of tea with them, they said they had not had a decent cup of tea made for them for ages and they were thirsty!
Jesus said “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18.20)
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13.2)