The obvious failings of the established churches
and the intermittent scandals arising from the unestablished,
open our eyes to the possibility that there could be, there should be,
a better way; a holier path, a way of honesty and integrity and goodness.
This, in a Christian church, can only be a reflection of the teaching of Jesus.
It can not be a vehicle for our need to worship, to control others,
to state our allegiance, or even to share our lives and news.
What can that mean in practical terms?
How can we reflect those principles in our practice,
as individuals, but more importantly, as a Christian group?
Surely it must mean caring one for each other, but more than that,
it must mean caring for our neighbour and for God's creation.
If we are also to witness to God's Kingdom, as Jesus required,
that means not "hiding our light under a basket" but acting openly,
publicly; spreading the news of how we care and what we do, and why.
Thus the church would become the fount of concern for the planet,
the pressure group against use of plastic, global warming,
promoting care for the poor, education and gender equality.
It would become a place that people turn to in need or trouble
and the central place from which love spreads to others.
Instead of being a place of worship of divinity,
the church becomes a centre for action
promoting the divine agenda.
Does God require, or need, our prayers, praises or bible readings,
or are these oriented to our need for group affirmation?
Do the purposes of God have anything to do with personal salvation,
or the sacraments, festivals, or liturgy of Sunday worship?
How can the church apply and promote the teaching of Jesus
to the problems and issues that we face today,
thus becoming effective in the land?