Friday, 18 June 2010

St Andrews - 19

Here we see John Knox preaching in the Kirk. If you visit St Andrews Castle today, you can hear one of his sermons.

When I was there, he was preaching on Jesus at the Temple as recorded in the 21st Chapter of Matthew's Gospel.

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers'."

John used this passage to condemn the Roman Catholic practice of selling indulgences. Although this practice no longer exists, perhaps we need to look again at the custom of charging people for lighting a candle at a votive stand. I am pleased to say that we do not charge people at St Columba's Culloden, and that any contribution made is a voluntary one - well out of sight of the relevant statue.

I get very annoyed these days when I am charged an admission fee to enter some of our Cathedrals. Whilst some Cathedrals do it in a fairly gentle way, others have electronic admission stiles!

We love the place, O God,
Wherein Thine honour dwells;
The joy of Thine abode
All earthly joy excels.

It is the house of prayer
Wherein Thy servants meet;
And Thou, O Lord, art there
Thy chosen flock to greet.

We love the sacred font;
For there the holy Dove
To pour is ever wont
His blessings from above.

We love Thine altar, Lord;
Oh, what on earth so dear?
For there, in faith adored
We find Thy presence near.

We love the Word of life,
The Word that tells of peace,
Of comfort in the strife,
And joys that never cease.

We love to sing below
For mercies freely giv’n;
But, oh, we long to know
The triumph song of Heav’n.

Lord Jesus, give us grace
On earth to love Thee more,
In Heav’n to see Thy face,
And with Thy saints adore.

W Bullock (1798-1874) and Sir H W Baker

Please note: John Knox would not approve of the word 'altar' in this hymn. To him there is only one altar - the Cross of Calvary. He would wish the line to run - We love Thine table, Lord...

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