on tuesday we had a celebration at CMS for the pioneers who have trained on the CMS pioneer training and were graduating, finishing, getting ordained, or becoming lay pioneers. it was a wonderful occasion. one of the students, steve, had put together the celebration which included a boat filled with water as a centre piece. there was a brilliant moment late on when he switched on two fans with a plastic sheet attached which became a billowing sail. this was all exploring the idea of journeying and relying on the wind of god's spriti to fill the sails for the next part of the adventure. steve had also written an opening piece of liturgy/prayer which he has kindly sent and i have put below - the same god, locating pioneers in a long line of ancestors who have gone before...
The same God who spoke in to darkness, ‘let there be light’,
The same God who was with Noah and his family in the flood,
The same God who called Abraham and Sarah and promised them the stars,
The same God who appeared to Moses in the burning bush,
And was with him through the sea and into the desert,
The same God who was with David as he approached Goliath,
With Daniel in the lions’ den,
With Samson, with Gideon, and with Jonah in the belly of a fish,
The same God anticipated by Isaiah, by Anna and by Simeon,
Who came as a baby, born in a stable, and fled as a child refugee.
The same God who turned water to wine,
walked on the seas and modelled self-sacrificing love;
healing the sick, touching the untouchable, even raising the dead.
The same God who wept.
The same God, which this world found guilty, and nailed to a cross.
This Jesus, this God, who could not be defeated but rose victorious,
This God who let his wounds be touched by doubters,
Who ascended to heaven, and descended as fire,
The same God, who appeared to Saul, and inspired a new way of living.
The same God, who has been seen in the lives of the saints past,
In Benedict, in Francis, in Julian,
in Mother Theresa, In Martin Luther King Junior and in myriad unsung heros of our faith,
This same God,
The pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
Is here with us, gathered today.
As we mark this occasion and celebrate with our pioneering friends,
May we know your presence and closeness,
your comfort and disturbance,
your grace, peace and love.