With the lack of good news coming from Syria I was glad to be reminded of these words
Without the Holy Spirit:
God is far away,
Christ stays in the past,
the Gospel is a dead letter;
the Church is simply an organisation,
Authority simply a matter of domination,
Mission a matter of propaganda,
Liturgy no more than an evocation,
Christian living a slave morality.
But with the Holy Spirit:
the cosmos is resurrected and groans with
the birth-pangs of the Kingdom,
the risen Christ is there,
the Gospel is the power of life,
the Church shows forth the life of the Trinity,
Authority is a liberating service,
Mission is a Pentecost,
the liturgy is both memorial and anticipation,
Human action is deified.
They were written by the Syrian Greek Orthodox Christian Ignatius of Litakia for a World Council of Churches Assembly in Uppsala in 1968. He went on to become Ignatius IV of Antioch and died in 2012.
I have come across them whilst preparing a review for the Baptist Times of Rupert Shortt’s articulate argument for a coherent Christianity: God is No Thing.
I knew I knew them but they had been forgotten in the myriad words that I indulge in.
They shook me.
They delighted me.
They are so good.