Over the weekend there was a marquee erected next to Bangor Abbey and inside for 48 hours there was continuous praise going on. It was an event organised by Celts on Fire an organisation founded by dear friends of our family Tom and Iris Ross.
You may think that 48 hours is a long time for a cycle of people to keep up praise to God yet in the 6th and 7th centuries it is believed that for 150 years the practise of Laus Perennis (continual prayer) was kept up at the Monastery in Bangor, close to the present day Abbey.
It was considered to have been interrupted by the raids of the Vikings. So it was fitting that on Friday night at the start of the 48 hours of worship that Scandinavian Christians led the first hour.
Some of you who followed my Twitter over the weekend will have been aware that I spent the first hour I had back in Bangor* (in the early hours of Sunday morning) at the marquee. I also sandwiched in another couple of hours in the afternoon between being part of the Worship Group at Trinity Presbyterian Church for both Sunday services (my first time playing bass guitar, or any instrument, in public for a number of years**).
Some people ask it is possible to be a Liberal politician and a Christian at the same time? It was actually the subject of yesterday's evening's sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4, which at one point made me a little tense. But I say it is, contrary to the sermon last night, though I've come on a long road to get to where I am and I'm sure it's not travelled yet.
But seeing people reaching out and back to the early traditions of our Christianity is invigorating to see (and if you see my current reading material courtesy of Mícheál also intriguing). There is a lesson never lose sight of the past while striving towards a better future, that is true of both fields.
* Having spent most of the week up in Belfast with a post-hospital Mícheál.
** So what better way to do that than with only a brief run through once as the only rehearsal time.