Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hope for the church

Today, as we celebrate the resurrection, a lot of people will have been slightly distracted by rumours of something which, if it is true, will cause a huge meltdown of already strained relationships within the church of England.
It's at times like these that those of us who care about the church might be tempted to wonder why we bother. What possible future is there for the Christian presence in this country when this kind of thing is always coming back to haunt us?

Yesterday I was at the ordination of Deacons in Truro Cathedral (which, I am happy to report, is safely shored up by scaffolding and showed no signs of falling down during the proceedings). The ordination service is always uplifting and moving, especially for the ordinands and their friends and families. But actually it's not about them. It's about the whole church, and the work of God. In particular the service celebrates the work of the Holy Spirit in calling people to serve Christ in his church. It reminds us that God is continuing what he began at Pentecost, and he has no intention of giving up.

The Christian church has always been messy and for most of its history, seems to have lurched from crisis to crisis. Yet it has always continued, and against all probability, has been renewed again and again to once more witness to God's love for his world. God is never defeated, and God has chosen to work through the church. For that reason (only), there's always hope for the church.

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