Every generation has music bands it’s not cool to like. When I was at school, you couldn’t say you liked Karen Carpenter’s voice, or the pop tunes of Abba. If you did, you would be shamed.
If you’re older than me, it will have been others. For at least some of you it will have been Coldplay.
They have never been at the cutting edge of musical culture, and their music isn’t particularly challenging. It’s music for Radio 2 and all the family. Nothing wrong with that. But nothing startling.
Except this fact.
In 2016, they were the first band to have headlined Glastonbury four times.
I’ve never been to Glastonbury. When I was younger I didn’t have the money, now I might have the money I need better toilet facilities! The idea of queuing with 200,000 people lost its appeal a while ago.
But what is clear is that Glastonbury (and a lot of the other summer music festivals) are about much more than music. I think it taps into a longing we all have for ‘something more’. It’s almost like Coldplay and Glastonbury were made for each other.
When you get a moment (or 5 minutes!) watch this clip of Coldplay in 2016.
Everyone singing a secular hymn, hands raised, flags waving. Did you feel any tingles?
Is this what a ‘spiritual but not religious’ crowd looks like?
Would Paul have recognised the Glastonbury crowd as the ancestors of the people of Athens all those years ago (Acts 17)? Would he have known how to use the lyrics of Coldplay, Stormzy and Elbow to connect their deepest longings with Jesus? I have every confidence he would.
What he saw in Athens and what we see today reminds us that we live in a God-haunted age.
We can tell ourselves that the folks we know and love aren’t interested in the big questions of life, that somehow what we have found that makes sense of everything would not be of interest to anyone else. So we keep it private, like some unwanted virus that is not to be spread, as though God is not at work.
Maybe it’s easier to find evangelistic courage when we remember that God has already been ahead of us. Whether it’s in the intellectual surroundings of Athenian philosophers or in a muddy field in Glastonbury or in an office in Manchester.
He is a God who ‘is not far from any one of us.’ (Acts 17:27)
Faith in Jesus is not an insurance policy that will guard you from anything going wrong. As Christians we navigate all the things that life throws at us in the same way as everyone else has to do. The promise we carry is that we are never alone. This week we have the chance to hear from Hannah who in the midst of life-changing news is learning what it means to follow Jesus when everything changes.
1. Sunday Gathering
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
Or you can join us live on YouTube.
2. Prayer Ministry on Sundays
After each Sunday service, the prayer team will be available to pray for those needing support in breakout rooms on Zoom. You can either let Ian know in advance or just wait around after the service.
If you have prayer requests but don’t want to be prayed with, you can also let Ian know and the prayer team will use that time to pray on your behalf.
3. The Coffee Morning will begin again on Wednesday 4 November
4. Home Groups: Thursday 7.45-9.00pm
You might not have been before – you are always welcome. You might be interested to know what we talk about. The groups discuss the issues raised by the sermons – if you want to receive the questions we send to everyone – just let Neil know and he’ll add you to the mailing.
The link is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/998857193
Meeting ID: 998 857 193
5. Non-Zoom prayer meeting
On Friday 10.30-12.00 there’s a prayer meeting in a non-Zoom meeting! Using Whatsapp, contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
6. Coming up
On Wednesday 4 November at 7.00pm there will be a Young Adults gathering for ‘Any Questions’ with Neil, Charlie and Fay. It’s what it sounds like – a chance for people to put questions to us. You may have received a specific invite to this, but if you are not quite in the YA age group you would be welcome to join in.
The link to the meeting is https://zoom.us/j/99289991695
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: https://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.
Links and Resources
Here’s this week’s Kids Resources from Morag, with a variety of videos, crafts and other useful things to help your child/ren read and learn from this week’s Bible passage.