Writing in Taonga Peter observes a missing element in our celebrations of the bi-centenary of the gospel here in Aotearoa New Zealand:
"to what extent have we proud Anglicans been the soft underbelly of the Christian Church in this country?
We are stewards of the Gospel, and like all stewards, we are accountable.
In our Anglican commemorations of 200 years of Christian presence in New Zealand, I have missed any call to collective self-examination and repentance.
We rightly seek to speak unwelcome truths to those in secular power Yet as we enter the third century of Christian mission in this country, do we not need to face, on our knees before God, unwelcome truths about our own collective failures?
So yes, thanksgiving for all we discern of grace-filled witness since 1814 – but surely also a discreet Anglican modicum of repentance – the General Confession as well as the General Thanksgiving. For only then can we be renewed for authentic mission, and face the next century of Christian presence here with hope that is truly Gospel-based.Lent starts soon. Its first reading, Joel 2:12-18, would be a good place to begin the journey afresh."
His point is well made. It is an unexceptional truth that ACANZP is now a long way from its evangelical beginnings.
Will we collectively listen to what the Spirit is saying through this prophet?
PS The chances are we will spend more time in self-examination if we are sent a rates bill!