Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Setting a Seal

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:31-36

Arriving back after a long day of travel, I got to thinking about how we make bishops in our church and how much of what we do is done in the background. The service, with the reading of testimonials and the dramatic laying on of hands is one thing, but the gathering of bishops, who sign and seal (in red wax, each with our rings), is a very powerful moment done before the service. The sealing is not a public event but it is profound. Each bishop has a special ring that they were given at their consecration, and they use it to make a lasting impression in the wax of their affirmation and commitment to the new bishop. A seal a lasting and permanent sign of a living and ongoing relationship.

Today, we hear John's testimony about Jesus. Of how there is, in Jesus, a permanent and ongoing relationships with God for all of us. That there is no distance nor mediator now between God and us, but in Jesus, we are gathered around the table, family all, and are sealed and signed for by the one who lived so that we too might live.

Today, as I get my feet back under me, and remembering all the wonderful experiences of this weekend, I want to give thanks for being sealed in to God's love by Christ, and live knowing I am in a lasting, living and ongoing relationship with a loving Creator. By our words and actions may we share that love, sealed and permanent, with those we encounter today.

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