Thursday, June 08, 2006

Convention: The Threshing Floor Awaits...

I offer this prayer for all of the Church as we approach General Convention, a spiritual threshing floor for the Communion in America, with ramifications for the worldwide Communion:

"O God, we dedicate this threshing-floor to you. May all the grain that is threshed here be used to your glory alone. May your angels guard this place and these your servants who will here thresh the grain you have given. Grant that of all this precious grain none will be lost, but that all may be used to feed your hungry children. May all that eat it know that of your grace and love you give them bread in due season. May even the little birds of your creation who shall glean their food here be conscious of the heavenly Father's care, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the true Bread of Life come down from heaven. Amen."

This prayer is from Christian villagers in India at the dedication of a threshing floor, but it is also used as a prayer for the purifying of the Church and its stewardship of the gifts of creation.

I read several blogs a day and the bitterness and downright ugliness is a trifle hard to bear. The rage of the so-called "orthodox" right is more than palpable, it roils, spits and delves into the character assassination of the peacemakers, and there is no health in it. Not so surprisingly, the moderates and progressives are downright calm and firm in their stand for equal standing of all the Baptized. It is sorrowful for all I am sure to see the lines drawn in the sand. And here's the thing: it is the moderates and progressive side that is trying very hard to erase the lines so that division does not occur. When narrow-mindedness throws reason out of the window, there can be no understanding or common ground. It is all or nothing. No compromising. Makes you think that the "orthodox" are all ESFJ's, especially strong in the J for judgment category.

I could go on and on but I won't. It serves no purpose to repeat myself. I know that which I believe and I will live my life, in spite of the hurling of "stones", epithets, and diatribes, to the glory of God, to the imitation of my Lord Christ and continually give the Holy Spirit free reign, so I may hear Her and know Her, and live by Her Wisdom, always.


Sophia said...

Thank you for this post!

I have tried, repeatedly, to read and try to understand the blogs (and therefore, the opinions) of those on the other side of the issues facing the Episcopal Church. I'm not going to say that I never get annoyed, or that there has never been a cranky rant on my blog about people who don't approve of women clergy or gay clergy or whatever. But generally the attitude I see on these conservative blogs is consistently venomous, rather than an occasional rant. This truly disturbs me. I don't know how people can spend all of their time ranting about how women can't possibly be called to the priesthood or how gays and lesbians are awful etc. etc. I just can't be that nasty all the time!

I am praying that things go well at Convention, as in I hope that everyone manages to listen to each other and that nobody has to be immature and dramatic in showing their displeasure.

Catherine + said...

You are very welcome, Sophia!

I agree with you that all the bickering, name calling, and truly vile epithets must end. I mean, really, what kind of Christian witness is that?
And the thing that gets me is the vehemence is so one-sided. We really need to pray hard for our misguided brothers and sisters in the Communion. Thank you for your thoughts, and sharing them.

Blessings of the Spirit to you,


Will Byrd said...

Thank you to Catherine for the wonderful message, and Sophia for your comments. I would also like to add a thought that, as challenging as it is, and OH is it ever, these who are so full of fear (and that is what we are seeing fear disguised as hatred, vitriol, degradation, etc.) are those who are the "all humanity" of whom Jesus told us to go and make disciples. How is that done? By our very lives, for often they cannot hear our words. Doing with our lives what Jesus would do (and he DOES do them though our lives) the light shines right into that darkness of fear ... and who knows what might happen in the presence of that light.