A Sermon by The Rev. Laura Howell
A sermon was preached at Trinity, Bethlehem over the past weekend. It’s worth reading – it’s very much worth reading. Then, having read, go do something.
A person who is following Jesus‚Äô commandments stands out from the selfish, materialistic crowd, whose primary concern is for the money, possessions or power that they can acquire. I would almost say that if you DON‚ÄôT stand out, if the world doesn‚Äôt notice that your focus is different, maybe you need to take a long hard look at how you‚Äôre living.
See this hat? The more I read about the church, the more I am convinced that I really and truly am a fool. I don‚Äôt get it. I just don‚Äôt get it. I‚Äôm not smart enough or well educated enough to whip Bible verses and theological arguments off on a moment‚Äôs notice. I don‚Äôt understand why 9/10 of the discussion‚Äîmaybe more than that‚Äîon the national church‚Äôs email list is taken up by attacking and defending positions relating to sexuality. The body of people who are supposed to be leading us into the future sit and squabble and play more-Anglican-than-thou games.
It is utterly beyond my comprehension how some people can state categorically‚Äîand believe it‚Äîthat God favors their group and rejects all others. Obviously, we all think our positions are right (do any of us deliberately hold onto things we believe are wrong?). But there is a vast difference between saying, ‚ÄúI think I‚Äôm right,‚Äù but being open to the fact that *you* may be right. And saying, ‚ÄúI have the whole of the truth directly from God, and we can only be in the same church if you agree with me.‚Äù Granted, I am not a cradle Episcopalian, but this black or white, my way-or-the-highway approach is not the Anglican way as I understand it.
An interesting and rather sad thing happened this week. Fr. Nick tried to take my foole‚Äôs cap away. Realizing that a lot of what I just described is going on, and each side is getting more entrenched in its black-or-white position, Fr. Nick issued a call for people to pray that the Holy Spirit will give us a clear sign that we can all understand. A sign that will lead us out of this swamp, and give us the energy to get back to what the church‚Äôs mission is designed to be. You can read it on his blog (http://entangledstates.org/ April 25-26).