Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Watching the Water
Most of the Bishops who have been blogging were those who attended in England. I had a very different perspective, being a bishop and yet being at home, watching the rise and fall of the tides of reporting and speculating for all corners. I was not in the water, but rather watching it, from a different perspective but with eyes alert and my heart open. I am grateful that the tone over all was positive and no battles broke out openly. I am somewhat sad, but not surprised, that we are moving to legislate a relationship that is a gift from God. And I am hopeful that despite all the vexing anxiety that proceeded this meeting, we can relax a bit and remember that God is fully in charge and that love takes the day, every day.
John, when asked, said he was not the Messiah, but the one 'crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord!' Some bishops get to thinking that they are the Messiah (it is a dangerous personality trait in all clergy), and forget that all of us, clergy and lay alike are crying in our own wildernesses, 'prepare the way of the Lord'. The blessing of the end of Lambeth is that bishops from all over the world, who serve in relative autonomy and isolation, saw that there were human beings, like themselves, of many diverse cultures and approaches, who are proclaiming and preparing the way for Christ. My hope is that we can all remember that even when we feel all alone and left to our own devices, that there are leagues of people across the globe, preparing hearts and lives for Jesus Christ. None of us is asked to be the Messiah, nor are we to tame the wilderness alone. In fact, there will always be wilderness in our world - challenges that darken daytime, dense traps that bring on fear, voices that harm our spirits as well as our ears -and God has promised to be with us in the midst of them. May we rejoice this day, knowing that Christ is solving what we cannot, Christ is moving in stone hearts, God's love is turning barren desert into living waters. May we watch the waters together, keeping ourselves safe from the torments and traps of rhetorical and theological tides. May we not be carried away in the rip tides, which come and go, but may we ride out together the storms, knowing that God is acting for us in the middle of the storms we face ahead. May we face these together, knowing that our relationship is a gift from God for the mutual benefit of our various and diverse communities.