Sunday, July 26, 2009
Let no one suffer hurt through your neglect
Good morning God,
It will be a joy to Baptise Carmel this morning, but my preparations for this service combined with some of the events of this weekend, have prompted me to revisit the Presidents charge to me at my ordination. I have baptised and confirmed so many young people, a rare and wonderful privilege. I have shared with them in their journey of faith and exploration of what it means to have a God of justice and peace, of passion and persuasion.
But I want to know how, God, under our Methodist system of itinerancy, we are ever to keep the command 'let no one suffer hurt through your neglect. We forgot to add the words 'as long as you are their minister' or some other get-out clause and I don't know how to find the off switch.
Letting go and letting YOU, God do your work, trusting in YOU God, and having confidence that the seeds that were planted... all the usual platitudes just don't quite cut it when what I really want to do is vent my anger - because when young people leave the Church I really don't believe it's good enough to dump it on you God.
I guess it is about how congregations keep the promise which they make at a young person's baptism 'to so maintain the Church's life of worship and service that their young people can grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord..
as well as how ministers heed the charge given to them at their ordination.
So, given how many young people are leaving or have already left your Church, I'd appreciate some help God, for me as I wrestle with what it all means, for the Children I have and will baptise in your name but above all - for the Church, for each one of us to keep our promises.. so that it really might be the case that no one suffers harm by our collective neglect.