This morning, I have left Antwerp by train. The beautiful weather from yesterday is gone, replaced by the one that I would have expected for this region and this time of the year: A rainy grey, but at least not freezing.
It was good to get on the train, to put some distance to the port and the city. And the landscape changed slowly, from the urban to the industrial, from the commercial to the suburban, then fields and forest, creeks and towns. I feel better in these more rural settings. Although Antwerp did not strike me as extremely loud in term of ubiquitous advertising and commercial overstimulation, I was able to feel that hollowness of the commercialized city life.
Grace to you and peace from the One who is and who was and who is to come (Rev. 1:4).
I offered my service as a reader today to the congregation at Whitehorse United Church, and the above quote was part of the readings. On occasion, I do worship with the local United Church congregation. As these things go, they have a relational aspect: I have been invited to join for the worship service; and Celia has been attending this church for a while now. To read from the scripture is a way for me to give back to the community and their hospitality. It helps me to overcome my fear for public speaking and my tendency not to publicly live out and share the ministry of presence.
I must admit that the space the Whitehorse United Church provides for worship is exceptional in the architectural desert of the Yukon. The sanctuary is simple, inviting, and not overloaded with distractions. I particularly enjoy the indirect light from the rainbow-coloured window glass in the alcove behind the altar. Today was not the best day for appreciating the light effects because the skies produced a diffuse light. But on a day with some sunshine, these windows create the warmest glow of light throughout the visible spectrum. A real treasure and for me an expression of the above quote from the Revelation to John.