Monday, August 03, 2015

"Are you sure you're a Vicar?"

This is a question I’ve been asked many times when I’ve been off- duty, in mufti, doing ordinary things with other ordinary people. It’s always expressed in a friendly way, but nearly always with reference to a perceived shortcoming on my part. It might be my use of ‘unrefined’ language under pressure. Or it might be my admission that Christian faith does not obviously and easily make sense. The tentative, critical and open way I read and interpret the bible seems to worry unbelieving acquaintances even more than believing ones.

The funny thing is, however, that no one asks the “Are you sure you’re a Christian, a priest, a Vicar?” question more than me, of myself. And, throughout my years in parish ministry, never more than early on Sunday mornings as I got up out of bed in the darkness.