No, We Damn Well Won’t

At the end of the Pentecost liturgy of the Church of England as published in "Common Worship: Times and Seasons" is the following commission. The words in bold type are the congregational responses.

For fifty days we have celebrated the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over the powers of sin and death.We have proclaimed God’s mighty acts and we have prayed that the power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead might be at work in us.

As part of God’s Church here in N, I call upon you to live out what you proclaim.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, will you dare to walk into God’s future, trusting him to be your guide?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.

Will you dare to embrace each other and grow together in love?
We will.

Will you dare to share your riches in common and minister to each other in need?
We will.

Will you dare to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God?
We will.

Will you dare to carry the light of Christ into the world’s dark places?
We will.

Honestly, who are we kidding? For a start, apart from a very few Anglican nuns and monks, nobody in any church I have ever been to is going to share their riches in common and I know from experience that all that love stuff is just fine sounding but empty words as far as your average Anglican is concerned. We may have a bit of love to spare for the people we are very close to or fancy or want something from but if there is anything like the love of God in the Church I am yet to find it. As for going out into the world's dark places carrying the light of Christ - I don't think so. We leave that sort of thing to black people and those crazy evangelicals who sing with their hands waving in the air and even they have conditions that apply like you mustn't be gay or suffer from mental illness.

This Pentecost let's get real and face the facts. If the Holy Spirit descended on the Church of England we would shit our collective selves. We don't want anything to do with anything even remotely embarrassing; not embarrassing people and not embarrassing Gods. So, if you find yourself having to recite the above responsory in church this coming Sunday morning, remember to cross your fingers behind your backs. You don't want to accidentally commit to something you have no intention of carrying through.


No, We Damn Well Won’t — 1 Comment