There is a story about a great holy war. There was a battle between the angels and a dragon, and the dragon was slain.
It is a glorious thing always when St Michael and all his angels come down to Great Western Road.
Today, we gathered people from all corners of the Anglican Communion, even Edinburgh, around one table. We welcomed three brand new small people into our community. We celebrated Nigerian Independence Day. Amid a great cloud of smoke and a blast of music, we ordained a young and faithful soul into the diaconate. There was a real live dragon too.
But the dragon was slain.
And when all the noise and joy and razzmatazz had died down, we looked back through the darkened church and there she still was.
A reminder that good is stronger than evil.
That love is more powerful than hate.
That light can never be defeated by darkness.
And that so long as there are people who have the courage to fight by their side, the angels will always win.
“It’s like the great stories, Mr Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even the darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding onto something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Tonight, we celebrated the greatest of those great stories. The dragon was slain. A great battle was won. The place was filled with angels in all their heavenly multitudes. And we were witness to the glorious truth that light is stronger than darkness, and that goodness will triumph over evil. Alleluia.