A beloved and saintly (yes, saintly) aunt of mine died a few weeks ago. Her funeral was an awesome celebration of triumph (yes, triumph) – a long and well lived life, family and friends together, and the Gospel preached. Utterly beautiful.
One of her sons told the following: when asked how she could still remain faithful when the Church was riddled with scandal and abuse, she simply said ‘God did nothing wrong’.
I think that is profound…
God did nothing wrong! Did you hear what I’ve just said?
You who’ve fled the pew and say you no longer belong?
Yes, you’ve been hurt by a sinful, oh so human Church,
But God needs you back, and God did nothing wrong.
It really will not do, no matter how you state your case:
You say you still believe, but have no need of church?
Is that His opinion too? Or are you merely kidding you,
And just leaving your remnant brethren in the lurch?
For the Church is the servant of His Kingdom, with a
God-given mission to keep the rumour of Him alive.
If you’re absent, you who say you believe and pray,
How on earth is the memory of Jesus to survive?
Hypocrisy is pretending to be what you really aren’t.
More blessed is the atheist who is being sincere,
Than the man who thinks spirituality can be private,
And that his ‘faith’ isn’t mediated through his peer.
Thank God you live a good and decent life, yet
You feel a return to church would be a step back?
To the young man who had lived a blameless life,
Jesus challenged: “Yet one thing you still lack.”
Faith needs to be witnessed, to be shared, and
To be passed on – else where will our children,
God’s children, find Him in our secular world?
One generation’s lapsation, another’s alienation.
You’ve been hurt by the Church, badly, badly hurt,
And wild horses won’t drag you back into the fold?
Hmmm… and yet you can pray “Your will be done!”
What if God is saying now: “Come in from the cold!”
If the Church wounds instead of heals, then fix it!
We are the Church! You are the Church! Not a
Bunch of old men behaving like frightened sailors
Trying to steer their ship through treacherous water.
We’re not playing at games here – I speak in love;
God needs all sinners up on deck, you and me.
Church folk are not really ‘holy Joes’, and as for
Priests – they need our support for their ministry.
When I look around at all the empty pews, I see
The forms of many who could and should be there.
Sin is not just doing bad, but failing to do the good;
Is God calling you back? Do you hear? Do you care?
It all boils down to this – God did nothing wrong.
Indignation’s all very well, but turn it positively.
Don’t let past hurts get in the way of God’s plan;
For God did nothing wrong – or do you disagree?