I`m here in York for a few days as part of a national Superintendents Consultation, staying at the Royal York Hotel next to the railway station; very swish !
This is the view outside my bedroom window. Honestly, the ferris wheel is that close and it certainly makes a walk in the hotel grounds a unique experience.
If you look closely in the picture you can see York Minster in the background, and earlier today as I looked out the window I thought what a contrast between the modern and the old; the secular and the sacred, but which is which ?
It’s very easy to talk about the wheel representing hedonism, greed, self-centredness and all that’s wrong with the world and to talk about the Minster representing Gods presence, the need to worship God, the call to glorify Him.
But who`se to say that God isn`t riding the pods on the wheel alongside people in their moment of pleasure, whether they recognise it or not ? And if He is with them does that make the wheel a Holy place, sacred ?
And if a Minster or a Cathedral or a Church conjures up for some people difficult memories of abuse, or boredom or irrelevance does that mean God isn`t in a place of worship ? Jesus said in Matthew chapter 28 “………I will be with you always till the end of time.” For me that is not only a comforting thought but a salutary reminder that God is everywhere. He is in the places of difficulty but also the places of pleasure; He is in the places where Christians meet but he equally can be found in places not ostensibly Christian. We cannot limit Him to a small box. After all we recognise that He is omnipresent, everywhere. So if I find time tomorrow for a ride on the wheel I will use it as an opportunity to praise God for His wonderful world and for the engineering marvel right outside my bedroom window.