The Day That God Came Into Church by poet-minister Lucy Berry

man in church Lucy Berry News images 554x415The theme which the United Reformed Church has chosen for this year's contribution to Greenbelt is “More than welcome". It's an interesting phrase. I'm not even sure what it means! What could be more, or better, than sincere and authentic welcome? Many people feel that churches can be hostile, judgmental places. I believe many of them aren't but we're highly complicated – often without realising it. This poem looks at the disconnection which can so easily exist between God and Church.

The day that God came into church
some strange new folk came too,
in hurry, hunger, wrong and pain
and sat the service through.

The day that God came into church
the gap seemed plain as sin,
between those folk who ran the church
and those who’d just come in.

The day that God came into church
a lot of folk went out.
Some found it hard to live a faith 
with nothing left to doubt.

Some left in shy embarrassment
afraid to look like fools.
Some left to found nice other clubs
with membership and rules.

Some left because their church was changed
and they were discontent.
Some at the point the penny dropped
there was no punishment.

Some left in shame; they could not see 
forgiveness in God’s eye.
Some realised their power was gone.
Theirs was a swift goodbye.

Of those, some left for hospital
uncertain of their role,
unfit to face a holy place
where they had no control.

The day that God came into church
one person laughed and smiled
and ran to meet and hug and greet
just like a little child.

©Lucy Berry
Photo: Stefan Kunze
The Revd Lucy Berry is a poet, a mum, and a minister of the United Reformed Church. Her website is at www.lucyberry.com and she's available to perform, preach and lead workshops.