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We proclaim the word of life

It is what we do,
and we have invented language to do so
but fallen out over those words,
of salvation and redemption,
of belief and doctrine,
and what they might mean
and what they might contain
as if any particular word is important.

But this is not the word of life.

We proclaim the word of life
and have sung those words into the world
in hymns of every age,
and accompanied,
from organs to rock bands,
choirs to soloists,
ancient to modern,
and divided ourselves
over what songs are best.

But this is not the word of life.

We proclaim the word of life
and measured our stories
of miracles and wisdom,
of psalms and parables,
of passion and protest
against inspiration and infallibility,
and split ourselves
over such measurements
and limited our imagination.

But this is not the word of life.

We proclaim the word of life
and tried to explain
what that means,
and written books,
and translated bibles,
and fallen out over inerrancy
and details,
over how many angels
can dance on a pin head.

But this is not the word of life.

We proclaim the word of life
for we have found the word
alive in the laughter we share
and real the compassion we show,
breathing in the honest living we desire
and flourishing the questions we ask.

This is the word of life.

We proclaim the word
in the struggles we have
and the grief we know,
the silence we find
and the mystery we explore,
in the children we nurture
and the imagination they share,
in the wisdom of young people
and their impatience too,
their insights, against ours,
in their view of the world
that stretches and defies ours,
yet find that common place,
in the breaking of bread
and the welcoming of stranger.

We proclaim the word
without using words,
but rather in the community we shape
and the invitation we offer,
how we welcome children
and who is allowed to belong,
where questions are allowed
and new ideas trusted,
in the judgements we don’t make
and the rules we do bend,
in the space we make beside us
for young and for old,
for the silence we prepare
for what has still to be said,
and the space to leave behind
what has been said too often,
in the prayers we shape
and the concerns we prioritise,
the community we design
round the needs of others,
the relationships we build
with each generation,
the invitation to the young
to reimagining our church,
in listening to all
and loving our story.

the word
grounded in relationship
found in the flesh
of the people we meet
this is where we find
the word of life
for every generation
and how we proclaim it.



Word of Life

                          1 John 1:1-4

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