Jul 13 2012

A Future Not Our Own

This poem was passed along to me by Emily Crawley . . . a fantastic young lady at C!C.  The poem is by Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador – assassinated while celebrating mass in the cancer hospital where he lived.

 

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.

 

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession bring perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives include everything.

 

This is what we are about; we plant seeds that one day will grow.

We water the seeds already planted knowing they hold a future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

 

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this.

This enables us to do something and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.


Apr 6 2012

Good Friday and the “day between”

Growing up, I never remember attending a “Good Friday” church service.  But somewhere along the way, I developed a little personal tradition of spending an extended quiet time reading through the Biblical narrative from Last Supper to the tomb.

This morning as I continued that tradition, I was struck by the emotion and angst that must have engulfed Christ’s followers during the trial, execution and burial of Jesus.  I wonder if any of them had a shred of hope or of understanding.  So many of them had already given so much to the cause, only to likely feel the world crumbling around them.  I cannot imagine the nature of that despair — all with the greatest dawn ever, just over the horizon.

As I meditated on these things, my heart grew increasingly thankful, because I (we) will NEVER need to know the depths of that despair!  The only avenue available for us to understand those days is through the lens of the resurrection.  We live completely in a day where the “veil is torn”, meaning the Holy Spirit of the Most High God dwells personally within those who believe!  We have such a privileged position in history and in faith.

Take some time this Easter weekend to reflect on the blessing of living in the Light of the Resurrection.   Join me in asking God to make the hope of Jesus’ victory REAL to us.  I’m convinced the more we rejoice and are moved by that hope, the more that God will bring us opportunities to share that hope.

May these lines drive home this truth in a different way:

What depths of grey
Defined the day
The one that stood between?
Darkened sun
Death of One;
No light through despair to be seen.

But now the Light shows
That we need never know
The depths of that day’s dread.
Darkness halted
Saviour exalted
Hope only from puddle of red.


Mar 23 2012

Cusp

Bottled up, I’d call the way
Your Spirit feels inside me,
Effective outlet held at bay
By forces yet unseen.

Not that pain is what I feel,
Not worried discontent,
No dampened eyes, no staggered reel,
No doubts malevolent.

Bottled up, like darkened clouds
The storm as yet to break.
Like the wait between flash and loud,
Thunder’s mighty quake.

I long to see the Spirit move
For Majesty revealed.
How I wish the Bride would swoon
At the Grace with which we’re sealed.

Bottled up, this Kingdom come
Unloose the cork, Oh Grace.
I yearn to advance amidst Your throng
In the light of Your glorious face.