Last night I was interviewed by Phil Daley on BBC Radio Norfolk. I'd done radio and tv interviews before, but never live, so was a little worried that I might slip up and say something stupid that - once I've said it - can't be un-said. Before I went on air the producer said to me "We're going to be live, so no swearing." I'm not ordinarily given over to too many expletives, but the fact that she even mentioned it made me worry that something would slip out. It's like the equivalent of someone saying "Don't turn around;" my neck is usually twisting before the sound has completely left their mouths.
Luckily I did not break into any expletives with Phil Daley. I spoke mainly about what we're doing at the two Georges - this new world of online religion - and tried to sound happy and upbeat. (I think now is not the time for a dour vicar.) Listening back I felt I had said "uhhm" too much, and there were some things that I wished I had said that I didn't, but overall I think it went OK.
In retrospect what struck me about the whole experience was that the things I talked about - faith helping us make sense of our world, caring, reaching out, being creative, telling stories - have been part and parcel of what we Christians have been doing from the beginning. Of course, closing church buildings has made us scramble to try and find new ways that we can continue this, but who we are and what we do? That's not changed at all, really. We're still a community praising God, still caring for one another, and still figuring out what faith in Jesus means in our lives and in the world. I find that marvellous, and thank God that we have the Church in these times when the Church is more needed than ever.
In our second lesson today from Hebrews we have the beautiful line: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." Indeed. In one sense "Christians continuing to do what they've done for millennia!" is not terribly newsworthy. But in another sense, I think it's some of the best news out there right now.