26th May 2021

What’s on the Agenda? I’ve heard (and asked) that question more times than I care to think, having served on so many committees, both Baptist, Ecumenical and ‘secular’. But the word ‘agenda’ has a meaning we sometimes overlook.

Traditionally, the church year has two halves – the ‘Credenda’ and the ‘Agenda’. The Credenda begins with Advent and ends on Trinity Sunday. It contains all the major Christian festivals from Christmas through Lent, Easter, the Ascension and Pentecost to Trinity Sunday. The set readings in, for example, the Book of Common Prayer, follow a pattern within that and the theme of the Credenda is ‘things to be believed’, in other words the bases of our faith. Then after Trinity Sunday comes the ‘Agenda’ which means ‘things to be done’. Really? I always thought it meant ‘things to be talked about’! And very often that is what it has become.

Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday, so, if we follow the traditional pattern, it’s time to change gear. Next week we start on the ‘Agenda’ – so what are we going to do about it?

In his short letter, James wrote: ‘As the body is dead when there is no breath left in it, so faith divorced from action is dead’ – or, as the King James version puts it: ‘faith without works is dead’. We often emphasise that salvation is not through ‘works’ but through ‘faith’ but that’s no reason for leaving out the ‘works’ bit!

David T Roberts