Aug 052014

I’ve just finished reading a very interesting book looking at the teaching of Jesus and how we should engage with it:

The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything by Briansecret message of Jesus McLaren.

It is really worth reading and reflecting on.

Towards the end of the book he quotes a poem written by Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador – ‘who was assassinated for speaking up for God’s kingdom and justice in 1980’.

I found the poem challenging, stimulating and encouraging:

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 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 . . .
We are prophets of a future not our own.

It reminds me that, as Christians, we are:

  • called to work towards the kingdom of God while recognising that its fullness is beyond us
  • privileged to engage in God’s work and not the other way round
  • not going to achieve everything we set out to do but God will
  • often involved in activities where we don’t see the results but it doesn’t mean they aren’t important
  • agents of God’s grace as we speak about what might be

Hope this is an encouragement, and a challenge, to others as well.