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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Prophets of a future not our own....

Simon Barrow
Simon Barrow has to be one of the busiest - and most talented - people around. He is Co-Director of Ekklesia (who has long been linked from this blog). I am indebted to Simon and his blog, faithinsociety, for referring me to the wonderful thoughts of Oscar Romero expressed below. His thoughts seem so fitting for the sort of work this blog tries to do. The thoughts expressed here are frequently uncomfortable for mainstream people - including mainstream Christians. But seeking justice where there is none is never comfortable. Speaking out for the marginalised is never welcome when people are seeking only to make themselves and their own comfortable.

Long ago, a journalist named Finley Peter Dunne referred to comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Miss Eagle thinks that this is what Christians are - or should be - about. In fact, it should be what thinking people who care about humanity are about. This blog tries - but, as Romero points out, the job is never done. What is being built here is not the work of a master builder. Only the Master Builder can complete it.

Ab. Oscar Romeo, Martyr


A prayer/poem by Archbishop Oscar Romero(martyred, 14 March 1980)

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny 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 brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
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 God'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.