Letter From A Minister

 

A year ago I visited Turkey for the first time and one evening we went to see the whirling dervishes.  Ever since I first heard of them I imagined them frantically spinning around in a kind of frenzy.  I was completely surprised to see that they gradually move round in a circle pivoting on their toes in a stately and beautiful dance to soothing music played on a guitar and a flute-like instrument called a ‘nay’.  It’s a kind of ballet.

That experience confirmed how easy it is to jump to conclusions.  My picture of the whirling dervishes was completely wrong and I’ve noticed since I saw them that when they are referred to, particularly when fanatics are likened to them in the press, my original prejudiced view is commonly held by others.

On one occasion I invited an atheist to come to a church gathering to speak about what he objected to in Christianity.  Imagine my surprise when he attacked Christians for believing things that I for one don’t believe.  How easy it is to let prejudice distort the truth!  On one occasion I was asked at a meeting “Why do Christians worship three gods?”  My answer was that we worship one God who is revealed in three different ways. 

Recently we celebrated Easter which focuses on the revelation of God in Jesus Christ; soon we shall celebrate the revelation of God in the Holy Spirit and later we shall observe the harvest festival which centres on God as Creator.  All these festivals speak of the one God who loves this world and seeks its wellbeing. Although the churches in our town have different names and worship in different ways we are united in our faith in that one God. That is why we are united in our desire to contribute to the wellbeing of everyone in the town.

 

John Reardon