As I might have mentioned before, we've been studying the Book of Acts for nearly a year now. A lot of the book covers the adventures of Paul, who is also the writer of a number of letters to the early churches. Taking a leaf out of his book I felt inspired after last night to write this letter.
To the church at Zac's Place.
Your hair is long and straggly; you’re shaven-headed.
Your skin is scarred, tattooed, rough, soft as worn leather.
You smell of the street, of tobacco, of bike oil, of Special Brew.
Your clothes tell your story.
Your words, your thoughts, your actions revolve around you; your heart beats for others.
You could argue theology with the Pope; what you know of God is gleaned from the Christmas story.
You’re abusive to those who would help; you take without giving.
I think you know so little yet you know so much.
When I would judge you you surprise me with honeyed words of heavenly origin.
You’re dry, you’re drunk, you’re drugged.
You see things differently from me; we’re both seen through a mask.
Your life is in pieces, verging on the edge.
You’re straight, forthright, rude; you’re honest but must tread as if on glass lest you cause pain.
You’re artless and wise; you’re erudite and complex.
You change like the weather and you’re as constant as the sea.
You are all of this.
You have a past you’d rather forget.
You wish you were fifteen again, or ten or five - or any time before ...
You began at your beginning.
Your foundation is now, here, this minute, tomorrow, the day after.
You wish you hadn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t.
You wish you could.
You teach me, you support me, you encourage me, you lift me up.
You make me laugh, you drive me mad, you make me cry.
You are my church and I love you so much.
You are God’s church and he loves you so much more.