InterVarsity Logo
SLJ Header

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

Poem by Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (1917-1980)


Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

—Attributed to Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (1917-1980), possibly original to Bishop Ken Untener

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a small fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing  that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects  far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense  of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it well. It may be incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.


Posted on: Mar 17, 2003
Last modified on: Apr 30, 2012

Related content   »   Kingdom of God

Our Core Commitments: Leadership Development
We want to be kingdom-oriented, not self-oriented, leaders

Incarnation — a Parable
A story about a king who lives on an inaccessible mountain. One day he decides to do something different . . .

The theme of Urbana 03 was “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” In this article, Lendol Calder explores ways we talk to God.

check out more related content here!
Article Tools

Filed Under

Article Found In
SLJ Home InterVarsity Store Search the Site Contact Us All InterVarsity Ministries