Monday, October 4, 2010

on earth as it is in heaven...

From James Freeman Clarke's "Messages of Faith, Hope and Love" (published daily at "Wonderful Epoch") This plain, passionate charge to the church..   

 "SUPPOSE the Christian Church should really believe that what it asks in its daily prayer is possible ; believe that the kingdom of God can come here, is meant to come here ; and that God's will can be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Suppose this should be the chief aim and effort of the Church,— to put an end to war, to cruelty, to all wrong-doing; to make men honest, generous, pure, truthful, loving. If the Church should devote its main energy, as Jesus did, to seek the lost, and to save them from their present evils; to bind the wounds of the broken-hearted here; to give sight to the blind, feet to the lame, comfort to the sorrowful, help to the poor; to lead those who have gone astray back into the right paths; to make all men feel that God is in our midst to-day, that his infinite love is around us now, that Christ is with us here in this earthly life, that his heart is longing to save the world from its present sins,— if the Church believed this, would not the kingdom of God come and his will be done ? With the whole power of the Church put forth in this direction, how soon might we not see these divine results ?"

Amen and Blessings
(illustration "Christ Among the Poor" by Georges Rouault)

2 comments:

Swimmerwoman said...

Thank you for your hopeful message. As a UU ministerial aspirant who believes in God and the power of Jesus' life and example to guide us in our daily lives, I respectfully ask that you use gender neutral language in your posts going forward as a step towards realizing the "kingdom of God" in our lives today. i.e., "people" or "men, women and children" please. Thank you.

boston unitarian said...

Thank you so much for your comment. This is something I have thought much about. This is where I am at the moment.
I have two goals as a blogger:
1.Historical-I hope I am illuminating a wonderful historical tradition with the selections I reproduce. In that context, I cannot justify changing the words of the people I excerpt.
2.Spiritual-The "Boston Unitarian" tradition is of deep importantce in my own spiritual life and, I hope, can be of value to others. In this context, I have contemplated the virtue of "editing" for more gender neutral expression (esp. considering that much of what I excerpt are from sermons that were delivered to congregations, the majority of which were women)
I hope that I am inclusive and "neutral" in the (small) parts of this blog that are personal.
I would love to hear what people think of this issue-please know that the spirit in which I offer the blog is one of complete inclusivity and, I hope, love.
Again, thank you so much for writing and for the kind words. I offer my prayers for you as you continue in your journey towards the ministry (and I hope you will keep reading!) Many blessings, BU