How we have longed at times for a new spirit in the church!
we have looked out across the valley and seen,
not one instance of decay
but a sea of skeletons
We too have felt the seeping away of life in all its fullness
in solitude, we have acknowledged that our preaching, our teaching
our prayers, our shepherding even our compassion |
– have failed to bring life
a message falling on deaf eyes, blind eyes, dry hearts
Is this how Jesus felt?
How often have we blamed others
for their failure to hear or learn
knowing deep within
that the problem was not theirs alone?
if we are honest
we may find this dryness within ourselves
faith stretched thin
hope in slow decay
less generosity of spirit
Can these bones yet live?
… the bones of a brittle church
… the bones of a crusty congregation?
… the bones of a decaying disciple?
What might these bones represent for you this day?
Bones take time to dry and decay.
How has this lifelessness come about?
Would you seek a quick dressing-up, a respectable skin?
Or the breath of Yahweh?
Restored sinews and muscle.
Hands that grasp and legs that leap.
A pumping heart and eyes that truly see.
May we be a church that is not lifeless in the face of oppression
May we be a church that is not voiceless in the face of injustice
May we be a church which is not cold in the face of indifference
May we be a church of pumping heart, of pulsing veins, a heaving lungs, of vibrant voice, of warming touch
Go to the Worship Downloads section on the right and you can download some of this stuff, along with a guided meditation on Ezekiel that I wrote for the Belonging Kit back in 1997...