From the mountains of West Bengal

From the mountains of West Bengal

St. Andrew’s, Darjeeling in the eastern Himalayan mountains of West Bengal, India. A colonial era place of old prayers, brass plaques to forgotten British officials who died far from home and sparse wooden pews designed for penitence.

Twenty of us gathered this morning to hear Rev. Rupert Rai preach on giving to Caesar that which is his and ceding control of the rest where it belongs.

Through the stained glass window on the left are the five peaks of Kanchenjunga, one of which is the world’s third highest. Ahead through the stained glass and up the hill is a Buddhist monastery of yellow-robed monks, their bells and chants mixing with the rumours of past glory in our sanctuary. To the right through the stained glass is a huge Hindu temple, closed for renovations.

Sitting in the half light I can feel the depth of my pegs yet also sense the growing spaciousness of an unfolding tent (Isaiah 54:2). Once again travel opens windows into mystery and fleeting glimpses of what may be truth.

We finished the half hour service with Rev. Rai leading us to sing with a mixture of proclamation and hope that “… it is well, with my soul.” And so it is.


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