Trials and tribulations

April 12, 2006

Original Post Date:  4/12/2006

I was so disappointed (but not surprised, really) to hear of the impending petition against essentially the Episcopal church for consecrating the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson (read here).

How interesting that the Daily Office for today included Psalm 55:

20My companion laid hands on a friend
   and violated a covenant with me
21with speech smoother than butter,
   but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
   but in fact were drawn swords.

22Cast your burden on the Lord,
   and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
   the righteous to be moved.
That so eloquently describes the way I feel pained by this action of theirs!  It isn't like the act of consecrating Gene Robinson was done secretly, or unilaterally.  This was an action of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies – the very bodies which establish the canons by which this trial, if it comes to that, will be judged.  There is no explanation for this action other than to cause pain.  And on that note, another selection from today's Daily Office:

2 Cor 2:5-8:

But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate it—to all of you. 6This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; 7so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.

Still they are welcome here in the Episcopal church, at least in my book.  Because it is so obvious that they are in desparate need of what this church has to offer.  A wide berth for a range of the entire theological spectrum, AND the healing of wounds that Christ has to offer.  They clearly are pained.  They clearly need healing.  They are missing something and are seeking something to make them whole.  Together we can find it.  If they do choose to walk apart, let's reaffirm our love for them and hope that in their journey they find closure for whatever it is within them that makes them want to seek this angry solution.

Instead of "Christ with the sword," let's focus this Holy Week on the Christ that suffered for us, that went to trial himself on our behalf of those who had no voice, who died in solidarity with the suffering caused by the broken-ness of the world and the resulting anger and punishment we inflict one on another.  As we do so, let's remember that we are all in that place of anger at some point in our lives, and forgive as we have been forgiven, and that the Grace of God is big enough for all– bigger, thank goodness, than we would even like it to be.

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