Sunday, October 02, 2011

I have a dream

Yesterday the children from Valley Church School gathered in the church for their Harvest Festival. The service, planned entirely by the school, though with a slot for a "word" from me if I felt so moved, was just lovely.
Readings, prayers, songs were all presented beautifully and a good crowd of parents turned up to support their children, and obliged the vicar by sharing in the inter-active story telling with the appropriate actions and sound effects. 
Believe me, 200 assorted adults and children all being trees and waving their branches in the breeze is a sight to behold!

Towards the end of the service, the children sang "I'm going to paint a perfect picture"
a song that I first met when the vicarage children were primary aged themselves. 
"I'm going to paint a perfect picture
A world of make-believe
No more hunger, war or suffering
The world I'd like to see"

There was a slot immediately after this for "Prayers and Blessing" - so I asked the children whether they thought that the world they had sung about had to be make-believe - or was it something they could help to create? A smattering of hands suggested that some still believed they could make a difference.
Then I asked if they'd LIKE to make a world like that.
All the children's hands went up...which was a help when we began our prayers.

But what shocked me most was that, even when I asked again, barely a dozen adults thought that the world of the song was worth hoping for, working for, believing in.
They were so sure that there was no possibility of such a dream becoming reality that they weren't prepared to invest even a token gesture of hope in it.

Simply heartbreaking.
I know life isn't easy here in the valley - but to have completely lost sight of a better future...
I came home and wept for them.


Avey said...

You've had a couple of negative situations to contend with..... despite it, just keep being who you are called to be.

I also despair at the lack of belief in a better future here in prison.... but we are called to carry on, regardless.

The world seemed obsessed with fatalism... let us offer an alternative.... hope.

Anonymous said...

My 15 year old son was telling us this lunchtime that by the time he was our age, there wouldn't be room for kindness in the world - it would be a "kill or be killed world" and he would have no option but to join in. Don't know whether he was just trying this opinion on for size or really owning it, but it sprang far too readily from his lips for me - suspect it may be pretty typical of a portion of his peer group (and he is one of the ones coming from a loving, stable, Christian background!)

Kevin Scott said...

And then, there are hard-bitten old cynics like me who believe a better world is possible. And the reason I believe it's possible is not because I have some abstract hope in the human spirit. It's because - just once in a while, and often in small ways - you see it here, now.

Wanting and longing and working for a better world, are all part of one process.

A perfect world? Perfectly what? we might ask. But a better world ... everyone can help achieve that.

Ostrich said...

"Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God's new creation. They are to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord; they are to teach and to admonish, to feed and provide for his family, to search for his children in the wilderness of this world's temptations, and to guide them through its confusions, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ's name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins.

With all God's people, they are to tell the story of God's love. They are to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to walk with them in the way of Christ, nurturing them in the faith. They are to unfold the Scriptures, to preach the word in season and out of season, and to declare the mighty acts of God. They are to preside at the Lord's table and lead his people in worship, offering with them a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. They are to bless the people in God's name. They are to resist evil, support the weak, defend the poor, and intercede for all in need. They are to minister to the sick and prepare the dying for their death. Guided by the Spirit, they are to discern and foster the gifts of all God's people, that the whole Church may be built up in unity and faith."

For Kathryn, priest in the Church of God and in the valley. I give thanks.

Still Breathing said...

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

I don't think I can add anything to that.

Alyce Morgan said...

Way across the pond, I dry your tears and pray breathing hope is instilled in your people.