One of my favourite pieces of church choral music is David Ogden’s setting of a prayer attributed to Teresa of Avila: Christ has no body now but yours. The choir were kind enough to sing it at my Induction at AFC.
The full text of that prayer goes like this:
Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on the world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are the body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
As September begins and many of our church organisations resume their
activities after the summer break these are good words to pray. They remind us of our ‘call’ to serve Christ.
Yet, maybe Teresa of Avila’s prayer also worries us in that it so emphasises
our responsibility that it might just feel that God’s mission is now completely
down to us; which is never the case.
In his book The Divine Dance (which the AFC Book Group have just read) Richard
Rohr, describes the work of God in our world as a ‘dance’. That dance, that activity of God is going on
all the time, both inside and outside the Church. We don’t have to start the dance, instead all
we have to do is join in!
I love that idea. The concept that God
is already at work in a thousand and one ways in our world and my
responsibility is to figure out what that looks and feels like and join
That way of thinking makes the ‘restart’ of so much of our activity here at
church in September feels not so much a burden that worries us but a joy that
can delight us – as we seek to share in the work that God is already doing
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