The Rime of an Ancient Church

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The Rime of an Ancient Church

One of my favorite subjects during high school was literature.  One of the poems that I remember to this day is the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’by Samuel Coleridge.  The poem is about a Mariner who stops a guest on his way to a wedding and recounts a story.  The Mariner one day set sail from his native land with a crew of two hundred.  They started their journey on a peaceful day, but things turned sour when a fierce wind started blowing.  The ship and its crew were unable to direct the path of the ship and as a result ended up in a strange part of the ocean in an icy cold, desolate place.  However, an albatross appeared out of nowhere and guided the mariners out of their dire situation.  One day, however, the Mariner impulsively shot and killed the Albatross. As a result, the wind suddenly died down, the mist cleared, and the ship was stagnant on the ocean. The other sailors blamed the Mariner for making the wind die and praised him for making the strange mist disappear. Then things began to go awry. The sun became blindingly hot, and there was no drinking water in the midst of the salty ocean. During this difficult period the Mariner describes to the wedding guest their condition:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

 There was plenty of water and yet not a drop to quench the indescribable thirst.

I have often wondered if we have ever found ourselves thirsty for community in the midst of plenty.  We come to church religiously every Sabbath.  We worship. We exchange weekly information. But do we have meaningful relationships with one another during the week and do we sense a strong community within our churches in the Gulf?

Acts 2:42-47 talks about the early church community, that fellowshipped, ate, and prayed together every day, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  Church is more than a weekly event or fellowship.  Church is a daily community of believers who have Jesus Christ at the center of all they do.

The Mariner concludes his story by tell the wedding guest,

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

 I have always interpreted this to mean that when we spend time in prayer with God the best thing that happens is that we change and not only have a close walk with God but love our fellow humans, and in this case, our church family.

2015-06-26T10:34:16+00:00 January 29th, 2015|Article|