I have been catching up on my blog reading the last few days and some of the truly crass comments made by so-called Christians in the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church [that's right, you cannot escape!] are beyond belief. Yes, I know, they really are this narrow-minded. Thanks be to God that His Son was not! Grace and reconciliation to the Trinity is not a narrow-minded concept...go figure.
Today is the day we commemorate the Holy Innocents. I love the prayer for this day because it reflects so much from when it was written to the very present, and I am sure for years to come:
"We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
I could not have said it better myself. How well this prayer rings true of today's world, of today's tyrants, including those in our own Communion [Minns, Schofield and the rest of the noisy gaggle]. There are those who seek to imprison, torture and blaspheme the very grace and reconciliation that Christ Jesus died for until it fits their skewed view of God and Christ's fulfillment of the Law [Hmm...could it be Peter Akinola?].
In a time when the one thing everyone could agree on at our last national Convention was the Millennium Development Goals, how quickly the secessionists and fundamentalist Anglicans forget. Here, let me remind you of what those Goals are that we so wholeheartedly support:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Though all of these goals are important, I wish to focus on one in particular that some of the fundamentalist "anonymous" commentators on many progressive blogs are coming down very negatively on. I refer to Goal number 3: Promote gender equality and empower women. Why are we not surprised...
In one particular case the commentator, obviously of the male gender and certainly NOT representative of good men everywhere, was particularly cutting in regard to our Presiding Bishop and her gender. The comment was made in regard to a letter by the Archbishop of Nigeria in regard to our Presiding Bishop in that she will not be invited to Tanzania and should not be invited to Lambeth 2008, because among other things she's a woman and can't possibly know anything about leadership and God.
This guy said because "Doctor Katharine" is a woman how could she possibly know anything about scripture, or its proper interpretation. The Brits tend to call their bishops doctor hence the addressing of our PB as "Doctor". Well, obviously this man has been living in his cave a bit too long and does not care a whit about promoting gender equality and empowering women. It's sad that some men, American and British, and some women for that matter, are sooooo behind the times and do not "get" what Jesus was all about. At least thirty years behind the last time we checked. Our Presiding bishop fulfills the promoting of gender equality and the promotion of women's empowerment in the Church as well as the world by her very Christian example and her authentic humility. It's what Jesus did, that darn radical hippie! Who the bloody heck does that Boy think He was and is! Having women as disciples and financial supporters! The bloody nerve! Didn't He know He was wrecking a good thing for the rest of us guys?
I must say that ++Katharine's letter to the diocese and churches that were considering and have rebelled against the Constitution and Canons of the Church, but more so against the teachings of Christ, was "love in control". I refer to the letter and gloriously wonderful captioned picture at MadPriest's "Of Course, I Could Be Wrong" blog: http://revjph.blogspot.com/2006/11/love-in-control.html . Basically the letter and the picture says it all about the humility and dignity of our God-given, God-sent Presiding Bishop. How well she counters, with love, all the fallacies and hyperbole that the fundamentalist Episcopalians/Anglicans put forth.
I am so very proud and thankful for her leadership and Christlikeness in our Church. We have needed her and she has come to us by way of God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thankfully most of the Episcopal Church and other dioceses outside of our borders can see what we see...real leadership and grace.
"And God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence. And her whole being was embraced in Him whom she embraced and they became tremendous silence."