Just back from a week in Central Europe - Prague, Budapest and Vienna.
Prague is wonderful. It was very moving for a child of the sixties to stand in the old town square under the statue of Jan Hus and remember the days in 1968 when the Soviet tanks rolled in and the time 20+ years when Czechs thronged the square celebrating their freedom from communism.
It's particularly moving because Hus was a Christian reformer who campaigned for freedom for Christians to develop an expression of their faith for themselves rather than having to follow the one laid down in far away Rome. In particular, he wanted ordinary believers to have communion in both kinds regularly, that is to have both bread and wine whenever they attended. It's hard for us protestants who value celebrating the Lord's supper the way we do that for centuries people were barred from the table except at Easter when they got bread dipped in wine from the priest.
For many years I had a lapel pin of a chalice in my lapel that was given to me by a Czech believer I met in the 1970s - when it was tough for believers. It symbolised for me the freedom that we have in Christ and the freedom we campaign for believers to celebrate their faith in the way their conscience suggests they should.
Lots of other lovely things happened that I'll refer to in subsequent blogs...
Good to be back