Friday, November 28, 2008

Fret not over Global Realignment, should it come

Sure, in Scripture Jesus prayed that we all might be one, noting that this would be a sign to the world of the truth of the Way. But then again, he seems to have had personal experience here below of division and discord among his followers; from the synoptic narratives:

(Mark 9, NRSV):
38 John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ 39But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward....'

(Luke 9):
49 John answered, ‘Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.’ 50But Jesus said to him, ‘Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.’

While it is easy to take issue with my application here, the basic idea seems sound: at some point we are on the same side, in spite of all the wrangling, and what's more: even if the Secessionists deny that we are on their side. It's not as if converts to the conservative variety of evangelical Christianity can be safely contained in a bottle, to be uncorked only when needed to elect Republicans. The Spirit: taking care of business is its name.

Or, from Mark 4:
26 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’

That's right: it is not our job to know how, or even to be anxious about how. We have been given the seed, and it is our job (1)to go out from wherever we are, (2)to scatter seed on the ground, and (3) sleep some. Do not lose any sleep over realignment: it is of no ultimate importance.


At 11:42 AM, Blogger Perpetua said...

Very nicely done.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nonetheless, I grieve over the extremists (on both sides) who tear us apart.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Thanks for these comments. Surely there is sin in wrath and anger, but in theory a new province, a parallel form of Anglicanism, whether or not it is recognized by Canterbury, need not come with more rancor, and should have come with much less.

Since it is now a fact--there is no point in simply wishing things were otherwise--we should, I think, pray that we do better in treating each other with grace.

At the very least, we are part of each other's mission field--and bitterness will not aid in conversion and preaching.


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