Of all the ways you could have chosen to manifest your Body in this world, you willed the Church. It is not our place to instruct you, but we might simply say that this is one hell of a way to run a railroad.
For in electing the Church, you choose broken and fragile people to be your ambassadors of your inconvenient love in this broken and fragile world. You call the weak and the disreptuable to occupy places of power and privilege in your service. You force us good, clean folks to associate with… them. In instructing us to love our neighbours, did you ever consider what the neighbours might think?
Yet still – interminably and insufferably – you gather us all beneath the cross of Christ where “the godless are justified, enemies reconciled, the imprisoned freed, the poor made rich, and the grieving filled with hope. That is why beneath the cross we also discover ourselves as children living from the same freedom in Christ, and as friends in the same fellowship of the Spirit.”*
And so, Holy One, we pray that mighty Spirit upon The United Church of Canada as we discern your will for your Church. Draw us together in all our brokenness and sinfulness, in our peculiarities and idiosyncracies, that our being together is an outward sign of your sanctifying hand. May we keep our eyes upon that Tree of Salvation such that all our dealings and business might reflect something of your bizarrely beautiful grace.
All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit: one God, now and forever. Amen.”
(*Moltmann, Jurgen. God for a Secular Society, 214-5.)