Yesterday I was inducted to be minister of Montrose Baptist Church. The formal Induction service was led by my friend and brother in law, Rev Jim Simpson; another near lifelong friend Rev Douglas Hutcheon preached from Ephesians 3.7-16. The Church Secretary, Ken Sinclair, and I, shared the story of how a first invitation to an ecumenical service at Montrose 2 years ago grew into a friendship with the church that now becomes a partnership in living and being the Gospel of Jesus. As always these are days of lasting significance, when words said and promises made, prayers spoken and hymns sung, gather into the one act of worship and commitment that affirms those decisions, taken on trust and offered to each other as a covenant to which we are each called to be faithful before God.
This was followed by a remarkable banquet of coffee and cake - I've never become anything more than a fumbling amateur at holding a plate with a deep slice of Victoria cream sponge, a mug of coffee, and talking. It takes two hands to hold the sponge while you try to get your mouth delicately and discreetly into position - what then about the mug. And as for continuing a conversation in a socially acceptable manner?
So I did what any sensible sponge connoisseur would do - put down the mug, and gave full attention to the cream cake. I know. Any half respectable pastor would forego the cake and listen attentively to the other person; would see that the physical needs of the stomach are no match for the vocational obligations to listen....but it was a magnificent sponge! Someone took the photo of the tables as they were being set, and there at the front is that GBBO quality sponge.
Notice the text on the wall which I feel might be a plausible excuse for eating the sponge despite the conversation - "May the God of hope fill you......" With just a wee bit hermeneutical imagination, that could be interpreted as a prayer of wishful thinking! Or hermeneutics as wishful thinking!!