No, I didn't spy any fried chicken on my trip to Kentucky.
Yes, I had a great time.
JD Walt has a great community of men and women who are training at Asbury Seminary and who care passionately about the theology and practice of worship. It was a pleasure to spend time with him (as always) and them, and to pass on some of the scriptural insights that have shaped my walk with Jesus.
I missed the old banners that used to be around the campus - "Where head and heart go hand in hand" they said. Apparently it's still the seminary motto, but it's not on the banners now. The Wesleyan holiness tradition of producing ministers trained in academia and formed in spiritual life has perhaps emphasised the former most strongly more recently, but Asbury is a special place, and it is a special treat to be invited to speak there.
JD's Levite camp is an optional day for any interested in grappling with theological issues surrounding worship and working on how they affect those who would oversee the practice of the same. I think this kind of day is a wonderful initiative.
I was delighted by the questions that came my way. And by my inability to answer some of them. One wanted me to work an answer on idolatry in the systems of the world - how we allow things like democracy or capitalism to become an idol, and how we address that. I could only agree that what I was saying allowed this, but then glad as I was that this question arose, I felt that it was not my job to have all the answers. Brighter folk will work with the tools they are given and the better questions they find in order to reach more helpful solutions. Tom - go for it.
Silverio (who was hard working and kind and my JD-appointed taxi driver!) said something profound as he drove me back to the airport today. He felt that many of them had gotten used to the deeper level of understanding worship as lifestyle and not just as the "worship service", but that I was pushing it even deeper - worship as relationship. He found that moving, and inspiring, and it made a deep biblical sense of things for him.
I guess I'd never thought of things in precisely those comparative terms, but I liked what he said. Worship as not just the service, and not even just the lifestyle - but as the essential relationship for which we are created.