Hate Crime Legislation

April 12, 2007

If you haven’t already, please make sure to write your legislator about the pending legislation on Hate Crimes.

You can find the Human Rights Campaigns Action center on the issue here.

This is critical legislation to ensure that all God’s children are treated fairly and compassionately!  Please take action.

j

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Austin Integrity Meeting

April 12, 2007

If you live in the Austin area, please be sure to come the next meeting of Austin Integrity to discuss the state of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

The meeting is on Saturday, April 14 at 2:00 at St. James.

Click here for details.

j

I took my son through a drive through on the way to a movie the other day, because “Poppa I’m STARVING and I CANT WAIT for ANYTHING to EAT or I’LL JUST DIE.”

So we went to the Golden Arches and got “as MANY chicken nuggets as they HAVE.  I am SOOOO hungry!”

When we got out of the car, I reminded him to get all of his trash so that car wouldn’t be dirty.  “But POPPA, I can’t carry all that stuff.”  His hands were completely empty.  I said, “Just do the best you can, I’m sure you will manage.”  He came out empty handed.

I noticed the next morning that his cup– full of lemonade from the night before– was still sitting there in the mini-van cup holder in the back seat.

I couldn’t bring it in because MY hands were full this time.

I forgot about it for a few days.

I just went grocery shopping, and found it again.  I pulled it out, and the paper cup which previously had held the lemonade tightly within its confines, had started to disintegrate.  The lemonade had now leaked into the cup holder below. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hallelujah Nuns

April 9, 2007

From the Gay Men’s Chorus of Dallas, the Turtle Creek Chorale…

Happy Easter!

j

Easter is here!

April 8, 2007

Easter is here, and God responds to death with life!

As I’ve been writing for the last few days, it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that the resurrection is about God’s response to sin.  The crucifixion was effected because of our sin, not to pay for it to appease an angry God (for a different wording than mine with the same outcome, see Rev. Jeffrey John’s sermon on it over at Fr. Jakes, here).  God has responded as God always does– with restoration and creation, bringing life where we created death.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(BCP p. 291, from the Great Vigil of Easter.)

That is hope if I ever heard it!

j

Good Friday

April 6, 2007

Sin is real.

I used to have a definition of sin as “that which separates us from God.”

I have modified that to be “that which separates us from God and each other.”

I have realized that in our dialogue on atonement over the past few years, sin may have been watered down.  That is unfortunate.

I think it is particularly important for me to recognize that on this day.

It is also important for me to recognize what that does on this day.

As Ed Bacon+ says in this sermon much better than my attempt yesterday:

“If we can get it right that Jesus didn’t die for our sins but because of our sins, and if we can shake our denial of death and go on a journey that gets us in touch with our mortality just as God in Christ joined us in our mortality then perhaps instead of a violent and oppressive cross at the forefront of Christian identity perhaps we can move compassion to the forefront of Christian identity.”

Thanks to this piece by Susan Russell+, which highlights several other useful pieces.

Maundy Thursday

April 5, 2007

I’ve been looking at Mark 10:45:

For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

This has been used as a justification for many atonement and punitive sacrificial theologies, trying to explain somehow that God needed Jesus to die in order that our sins might be washed away.

But that is not the intent of this passage.

Taken in its Roman Imperial context of Jesus’ time, is about ransom– economic ransom for the release of slaves and captives.  That is not a metaphor.  That is not an allegory.

Jesus spent the majority of his time with those who were indebted in some way to the empire.  Slaves.  Peasants.  Those who had to work hard in order to pay very high tax obligations to the empire.  Jesus promises them freedom from that burden.  Interestingly, the notes in my Bible also say that “many” is mistranslated in the Luke version of this passage and should read “all.” Read the rest of this entry »