Over this past week, we've been reading about Paul's advice to Timothy on how to minister to a new community of faith. We often reflect on these new communities of faith and think, "how refreshing to be able to start new". Yet, what we don't have in the Bible is a record of all the whining and snivelling that went along with nurturing the new Church. It is the same in our new Church Developments today. We think that a new Church Development would mean fresh new ideas or new programs. Yet what frequently happens are the words "but in our old church we didn't do that". How frequently do our whines and complaints become stumbling blocks for bringing the Word of God into the community? Too frequently.
In Frederick Macnutt's "The Prayer Manual", is a wonderful prayer (Prayer #532) by Lancelot Andrewes :
"Lord, for Your Holy Catholic Church we pray; for the Churches throughout the world, for their truth, unity, and stability, that in all charity may thrive and truth live; for our own Church, that the things that are wanting therein may be supplied, and those things et in order that are not right; that all heresies, schisms, whining, and scandals, as well public and private, may be put out of the way; for the clergy, that they may rightly divide the word of truth, that they may walk uprightly, and that while thy are teaching others they may learn themselves; and for the people, that they may not think of themselves more highly than they ought, but be persuaded by reason to walk in the ways of truth and peace." Amen