Festivals, a fabulous aroma and a finalé.
Festivals, a fabulous aroma and a finalé.The summer is full of special events. From Edinburgh to Reading hugecrowds will enjoy festivals of orchestral or rock music, stage or streetdrama , or even the rediscovery of a community picnic. The summerholds many treats to enjoy that and point to things greater than everydaylife. One of the most exotic festivals at the end of August is the NottingHill Carnival. It owes its existence to Black immigrants from theCaribbean, especially Trinidad, who felt on the edge of society. It broughttogether people who felt that they faced racism, lack of workingopportunities, poor housing conditions and low self-esteem. In the1960’s the sound of the steel band was first heard – its infectious style ofmusic and rhythm encouraged great celebration. As steel drum musicfloated down London’s streets it was like music from another land.These festivals are attractive for the sheer enjoyment of live artisticperformances. There’s also a sense of occasion as large crowds travel tobe part of a temporary community, united by a common passion.A Christian understanding of such highs of enjoyment is that they pointto something far greater. A hint is found in the Psalms (a collection ofpraise and prayers set to music, but only the lyrics remain): ‘Sing praisesto God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises’ (Ps 67v6-7).Here’s the exuberance of God’s people. It overflows into a desire thatothers are drawn in: ‘May all the peoples praise you, O God; may all thepeoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rulethe peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth’ (Ps 67v3-4). God’sKingdom and perfect rule will last forever. These blessings come to usthrough Jesus Christ and are overwhelmingly good. Even the mostgeneral of blessings is like music from a distant land, or like a fleetingsmell of an appetising aroma that makes us want more! One day there willbe an enormous gathering in heaven of God’s peoplewho are drawn from every tribe and nationassembled around the divine throne. This will be thefinale, but also the future for all who are followers ofJesus Christ.I hope that your summer has many enjoyableoccasions. I hope too that you will join us as we meet together in anticipation of the great day that awaits.