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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, January 23, 2003
    Prophets of a Future Not Our Own
    Not much feedback from the PCC last night as I shared some brief reflections on my Corrymeela experience. It was the post- tea&biscuits slot. A few took home the sheet I provided with a text of Oscar Romero's, which we'd used as a kind of prayer in the Croi and last night too. Seems to sum up much of the spirit of peace workers everywhere. Tonight I dedicate it to Sojourners folks and other War is not the answer campaigners in the USA.
      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 program 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. Amen
    (by Archbishop Oscar Romero, activist for justice and peace, assasinated on March 24, 1980. Found on a Catholic Social Justice website)