Monday, 4 July 2011

Prophets of a future not our own

Paul Kollman our CMS Missiologist in Residence shared the story of his visit to El Salvador. He focused particularly on the work of Archbishop Romero, who was martyrted as he shared mass with the people he loved and served. Paul quoted from a well known Poem/Prayer attributed to Romero: 'A future not our own'

I particularly liked the sentiment behind the lines:

We plant seeds that one day will grow
We water seeds already planted
Knowing they hold future promise
I suppose that, more than planting new seeds, watering seeds others have planted has been an integral part of my work for a long time. It is what I do as I travel around Asia on behalf of CMS, encouraging mission and the transformation of communities. Hence the painting I have featured - a 'VanGogh-ish' picture of an impressionist harvest which I did earlier this year. A Harvest represents that 'future promise', which is normally 'beyond our vision'.....

The text of the full poem I have taken from ekklesia
More information about ongoing work in the spirit and memory of Archbishop Romero can be gleaned from the Romero Trust:

We are prophets of a fuuture not our own

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom [of God] 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 programme 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 realising 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.

No comments: