To quote a wise old archbishop, Michael Ramsey, sometimes ‘I hate the Church of England, I do, I do, I do’ (see The Faber Book of Church and Clergy)… not quite enough to lay down on a bed and ‘hooray with my heels’ as I believe he did as he spoke to his press officer… but then he knew it far better than I yet do.
But whilst the fussy, tangled machinations of any one division of the Church-in-the-world provide easily enough mental macrame to hang oneself… (or at least to tempt one to take up an easier pastime such as atheism)…still, God is there, God is in his Church, there in its broken Thanksgiving, enlivening it with his Spirit, redeeming it with his love, and even reaching out to the wider world through its sometimes clumsy overtures.
It is summed up in Simon Peter’s words in the Gospel of John 6:68, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.’
So this is to you, Lord…
I am very tired, but I do love you. Not very well, but you can help me to keep trying. So please Lord, as a present, help me to keep trying this Christmas… do not abandon me to the imagination of my heart, but help me to live in the light of your presence, now and always… Amen