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Thought For Today: Acts 2:8

June 19, 2020


“How is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?”                                                                     Acts 2: 8


The soon-to-be Archbishop of York has recently published a new book. As it is required reading for those who, like me, are involved in the discernment of God’s call to people to serve as ordained ministers in his church, I got hold of a copy. But, that apart, I would have done so anyway as I find his style immensely thought-provoking while at the same time readily accessible.


In one section of the book, Bishop Stephen Cottrell likens the business of the church in the world to the creation of a fourth movement to the unfinished 9th symphony of the late 19th Century Austrian composer Anton Bruckner. Being a great fan of orchestral music, I warmed excitedly to this comparison, as he pictures the church writing and performing something which aptly leads to a joyous culmination of all that has been begun and developed so far, while remaining entirely faithful to the earlier movements we already have from the composer himself.


Even as I can feel my enthusiasm for this picture again mounting, I realise that it will leave some readers quite cold. That’s the thing about pictures and comparisons: they speak to some and not others. Whether as a result of temperament, or of experience or of simply the way different minds work, tastes vary. To use the jargon of the day, not everything r