Friday, April 17, 2009

The Road To Emmaus

In light of all the happenings around the Anglican Communion including the RCDC Covenant and the GAFCON meeting in England and the slef-recognition of GAFCON and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and all that whoop-de-do I wish to go back to Luke 24:13-35 and the disciples encounter with Jesus along the road to Emmaus.  As you may recall Jesus slips up on a couple of disciples (unbeknown to them).  They talk about the happenings in Jerusalem a couple of days ago.  Then, Jesus begins to warm up -- I will let Luke finish the story:

And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

When the disciples discovered it was Jesus, he vanished, but they went to the others with their hearts burning and could not keep still nor could they keep quiet.  The Episcopal Church, when we discovered women's ordination and LGBT rights did our hearts burn and could we hardly keep quiet?  I think not!  We have tried to hide all these things under a bushel basket.  Our timidity has been our worst enemy.  Yes, too some extent we have brought the last few years and the last few days upon ourselves.  And we continue to be timid and "hopeful" about these issues.  Those who would supplant TEC have neither been timid nor quiet.  They have mistaken our kindness for weakness and have taken full advantage.  In fact today, who stands up for Bishop Robinson?  Do we see or hear clear and unequivocal response to all the evil that has spewed from the mouths of Iker and Duncan and Schofield and Venables and Jenssen and Orombi and Akinola?  Each time they speak does someone immediately answer with clear and certain terms?  Does the rest of the Communion know, really know, where we stand and how firmly we intend to hold that ground?  No, why do I say that?  Look at B033!  Listen to those that speak of these issues.  Heavens, we are still apologizing for women priests and bishops!  No one in TEC seems to be willing to take on the primates on the issue of LGBT rights!  We are still arguing about the rescission (or not) of B033!  

Did we encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus or not?  I think we did.  Everyone is wringing their hands over these events and yet we caused a portion of them ourselves.  We need to create empahtic statements that leave no room for discussion or dismissal.  We need to show the Primates and the FCA and GAFCON and anyone else that these are baseline issues and we do not intend to allow rights to be taken away from classes of people simply because someone in Argentina doesn't like women.  Someone in Nigeria hates gays!  Someone in Fresno or Forth Worth or Pittsburgh takes advantage of TEC's kindness.   Let's start talking and acting and working like these issues are baseline issues -- remember, lukewarm Christians get spit out.