Oscar Romero on the Kingdom…

Via the Emergent Village daily ‘minimergent’

A future not our own

A prayer / poem by Archbishop Oscar Romero
(murdered, 24 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 programme 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.

Christmas for the spiritually poor…

Tonight our housegroup met to exchange ‘secret Santa’ gifts, to sing carols and to celebrate the coming King.

But our celebrations were muted by several situations affecting our little group. One of our members is over at the hospital in Greenock sitting with her husband who is not expected to live through the night.

Another is in hospital recovering from an operation.

One of us has been really ill and has not been able to eat for several days.

Then half way through our meeting, we had a phone call to say that Helen’s father, who lives in the North of Scotland, was in some kind of crisis and no-one could contact him. Fortunately it all turned out to be a misunderstanding, but it brought home again how fragile we humans are.

Yet how beautiful.

Michaela read these words by Archbishop Oscar Romero-

No-one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being spiritually poor.

The self sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others- those who have no need even of God- for them there will be no Christmas.

Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone.

That someone is God.

Emmanuel.

God-with-us.

Without poverty of spirit there can be no abundance of God.

Life owes us nothing.

But we owe the life in us everything.

And we pay that debt in love.