Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dreams for the church

At the moment, you don't have to look too far to find evidence of all sorts of unhappiness within that part of the Body of Christ that is the Anglican Communion (though as always, even as I prepare to wring my hands and consider despair, there's fresh evidence of God at work and I wonder how I dared to question...) so yesterday's Friday Five, which was all about the five marks of a perfect church, would have been distinctly apposite. However, I can't dream church dreams without hearing the words of others...the first a posting from WATCH a couple of years ago and the second from the ever wonderful Kate Compston. I certainly can't improve on these - and they are very much my dreams too.

I'm dreaming
about a church of sensitivity and openness,

a church of healing and welcome.

I'm dreaming about a community of friends
that celebrates differences and diversity and variety,
a community that is forgiving, cherishing, wide open.

I dream
of women and men
who minister
life and laughter and love;
of men and women who minister
healing and harmony and hope;
of women and men who minister to each other
and minister to the crying needs of a world that hurts.

I dream
against the rough climb still to come,
against expectation, against pessimism and despair;

I dream, I dream of the clear panorama
of the vision of light right at the top of the mountain.

I dream of a church that joins in with God's laughing
as she rocks in her rapture, enjoying her art:

she's glad of her world, in its risking and growing;

‘tis the child she has borne and holds close to her heart.

I dream of at church that joins in with God's weeping
as she crouches, weighed down by the sorrow she sees;
she cries for the hostile, the cold and no-hoping,
for she bears in herself our despair and dis-ease.

I dream of a church that joins in with God's dancing
as she moves like the wind and wave and the fire;
a church that can pick up its skirts, piroutting,
with the steps that can signal God's deepest desire.

I dream of a church that join in with God's loving
as she bends to embrace the unlovely and lost;
a church that can free, by its sharing and daring,
the imprisoned and poor and then shoulder the cost.

God make us a church that joins in with your living
as you cherish and challenge, rein in and release;
a church that is winsome, impassioned, inspiring;
lioness of your justice and lamb of your peace.

But of course dreams are of very limited value if they remain simply that.I'm in optimistic vein tonight, after some experiences of church that fit rather wonderfully with the dream - so I'm off to do some praying now, recognising that work may well be part of the package too...


MperiodPress said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

This is stunning. Beautiful. Wonderful. Hopeful. Real.

Your depth and passion and love for God, for Church, are borne in your words.

Thank you for this--a highlight of my day!

SingingOwl said...

What MPP said. Oh! I'm printing that one out and saving it.