I don't know why I keep agreeing to do this.
A week tomorrow I will be with the Meissen Commission in Eisenach in Germany. I have agreed to preach at the morning service in the Georgenkirche – where Johann Sebastian Bach was once the Kantor and Martin Luther preached. It is their harvest festival, but also the first in this year's series of sermons on the Reformation Decade themes. That's all OK, but I am doing it in German and I always agonise during preparation over how to say it without sounding hopelessly inarticulate.
Fortunately, we have a young German student staying with us and she has agreed to help me sound less stupid in her native language.
Actually, apart from quoting Bruce Cockburn at the end (I bet you didn't see that one coming…), it isn't hard to bring together harvest, creation, gratitude, ethics, music and metaphor in one narrative. But, it has reminded me (yet again) of the inextricable connection between worship and ethics: don't sing one thing and live another. Try Amos for what happens when we bear God's name and then institutionalise injustice and corruption.
In a week that saw further calls for justice to follow truth (Hillsborough), an appeal by certain football managers to end celebrations of innocent victimhood, further admissions of abuse by churches, police officers murdered in Manchester and violence erupting around the world because of bad film, a reconnection of the songs we sing with the ethics we enshrine seems all the more essential.