Posted by Craig Borlase on 15 May 2013


You might have seen it already, but even so, it’s worth multiple viewings. For here among the forgotten ghosts and faded colours, we find some important lessons for today’s worshippers.


1. Slow Down

Have you noticed how slow people are walking? At first it seems like it might be a quirk of the film, but in time it’s clear that people moved slower a century ago. Today it’s all different. We rush through life at a frantic pace, measuring out our worship before the ever-counting clock. What if we just paused? What if we waited? What if we didn’t rush to fill the silence?


2. Question Technology

In 1927 London was one of the world’s largest cities, yet where are the road signs? Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all seem to know and follow the rules.  And where those rules do need reinforcing, a single policeman is enough to hold back a wall of traffic. The worship community has embraced technology well, and with some great results, but let’s not forget the simple truth that people lead people better than machines do. Let’s not be impressive or innovative at the expense of making connections that help lead people into worship.


3. Approach Death, Don’t Ignore It

Around 2:10 the camera takes us to the Cenotaph - the memorial to those who fought and died in WWI. The war had ended almost a decade before, yet we see at  least three generations gathered around the memorial, approaching it through the traffic with confidence and seemingly without hesitation. These days, we do things differently; we either ignore death or we tense up around it. But death is part of life - and it is surely a part of worship. What if we found a way of sung worship helping people with their grief, rather than glossing over it?


4. Look Up

Any crowd shot taken today would reveal countless heads bend down, hunched over their screens. But not in 1927. Heads were up, looking about, entering the moment and staying there. What else might we see if, for the next 24 hours, we put the screens down and looked up and out? What of God’s work might we see? What moments might we experience more fully? What opportunities might we find to live out our worship?


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