Thursday, 19 June 2008

Blast From the Past.

William Temple.

With Winston Churchill.

William Temple, one time revolutionary Christian Socialist and member of Bishop Gore's school of Anglo Catholic Socialism which produced the seminal document 'Lux Mundi' (and sweated countless buckets of toil), one time Bishop of Manchester and one time Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote this...

''Remember, the supreme wonder of the history of the Church is that always in moments when it has seemed most dead, out of it's own body there has sprung up new life; so that in age after age it has renewed itself, and age after age by it's renewal has carried the world forward into new stages of progress, as it will do for us in our day, if only we give ourselves in devotion to it's Lord and take our place in it's service.''

So what do we do? How to look for signs of renewal? Look for the only spiritual dynamic which is the living Spirit of the crucified and risen Christ Himself. The whole world, from our doorstep, round the globe and back to our doorstep again, is awaiting the release of this vital force through human personalities, vitalised by the Holy Spirit and witnessing with a new power to the Cross of Christ as the central fact of faith and life. It is the lack of the Spirit which causes confusion and disarray, it is when we move from the Spirit, as Church or individuals, that we find disarray in the ranks. For the gift of the Spirit, on those who recieve it, is the necessity of evangelisation and living the Kingdom of God in the communities in which we are called to serve and the Kingdom of God has one equal truth and is guided by one equal light.

I suggest to you, dear wanderers, that the spiritual dynamic for such a compelling and vital witness is always available. But I find nothing in the Bible or in my experience, or in the experience of the Church through Her long history, to suggest that it is available cheaply. It is available through humility and prayer, that His will, not ours, be done.