Reclining and Declining

Last week, I went to the cinema in Leeds to watch Operation Mincemeat, the true story of the Allies’ scheme to deceive the Nazis regarding their European invasion plans. I was almost alone in the cinema, and had ample opportunity play with my seat. When I attended the Lancaster cinema as a teenager, I recall my knees uncomfortably touching the chair in front. I am not particularly tall, but it was most awkward and detracted from the film. At this modern cinema, in contrast, the comfort could not have been greater. All the chairs were button-controlled leather recliners, which silly five-year-olds and me enjoy pressing to our heart’s content. Once again, I was mindful of our hard pews at Salem Chapel. The next day, I visited Bridge Community Church, the chairs of which, in their large auditorium, are comfortable and generously apportioned. I wished our pews could be replaced with soft, luxurious recliners. On the other hand, our chapel's seating gives a salient reminder that worship is not about our pleasure and comfort, but God’s honour and glory. Listening to God’s word preached is not about us feeling good or even leaving church in a better mood, but responding to our Lord’s earnest calls. What we lose in comfort, may we gain in serious obedience and godly vitality.