Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009. Second Sunday after Pentecost.

© 2009 by Louie Crew

Today’s Lections

The Collect

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen..

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13

Jesse parades before Samuel the sons whose manner of life he thinks appropriate in the next Kind of Israel, but “the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance -- [on things like physical prowess or sexual orientation] -- but the Lord looks on the heart.

Resolution B033 passed by the General Convention in 2006 will be revisited by deputies and bishops next month in Anaheim. B033 states: “Resolved, that this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” See the official publication of the full resolution.

B033 would not have allowed Samuel to see the son tending sheep in Jesse's fields. B033 attempts to muzzle the Holy Spirit. For three years now every nominating committee has operated under its shadow, as have all voters in two Episcopal elections where gays and lesbians have been knowingly nominated (Newark and Chicago). B033 is stated as an advisor resolution, not in terms binding with stated penalties. It directly inhibits a canon of the Episcopal Church established in 1994:

Title III (Ministy), Canon 1: Of the Ministry of the Baptized

Access to the Discernment Process
Sec. 2. No person shall be denied access to the discernment process
for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race,
color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual
orientation, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by
these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby
established. (Page 63)

Things get curiouser and curioser when advisery resolutions are considered to trump mandatory canons.

Should we consent to the consecration of any bishop whose manner of life does not present a challenge to the wider church? Christians are called always to disturb an easy peace, especially regarding who is to be included. B033 condemns The Episcopal Church as our Lord was condemned, not for just ministering to sinners, but being their friend.

In the collect today we ask God to keep the Church in steadfast faith and love [so that we may] minister your justice with compassion.” What is the justice and compassion in B033?

Psalm 20

Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, *
but we will call upon the Name of the LORD our God


Some put their trust in their heterosexual orientation, *
but we will call upon the Name of the LORD our God

Imagine heaven‘s gate in the context of B033: “Knock, knock. Lord, let me into heaven for I have always behaved heterosexually. I have not sinned as lesbian people have.”

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Unless the person is homosexual? Can homosexual persons remain homosexual and be “in Christ.”

That’s what the current furor is all about. To answer the question some introduce an X-rated prayer life. They ask God whether God would bless homosexual acts. They imagine the sexual scene of two persons of the same sex, anonymous and removed from their whole personhood, just the sexual scene; and they then conclude that God would not like that any more than they do.

Lesbians and gays might come to similar conclusions about heterosexuals if we used such a distorting lens. Suppose we drew our notions of what heterosexuals are merely from looking at their sexual scenes, or even at a Shriners’ parade?

That’s what one’s life looks like when regarded from merely an animal point of view -- the human being as the sum of bodily activity. By contrast, what might you see if you regard lesbians, gays, bisexual and the transgendered as new creatures in Christ, loving and serving God and loving and serving our neighbors?

Saint mentions that some see him and his co-workers as ‘beside themselves’ -- bit touched? Crazy? Certainly not ‘with it’ in the cool of the current culture. “If we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.,”

Mark 4:26-34

After more than 35 years of public ministry among and with other lgbt folks, I am convinced that God has a clear purpose in using us that has little to no connection to our plumbing. We are one of the currently despised groups around the world. We are one of the groups for whom human rights are not like the human rights of others, but “special rights.” A few countries kill homosexuals for consensual sexual behavior. More jail us. Almost all tolerate the mockery of us and restrictions on participation….

God’s purpose is to love us so that he might say to all others who consider themselves beyond God’s grace or interest, “I love you too.” Many look at the church and presume they would not be welcome there, “But I am divorced” or “I have abused drugs and my recovery is not stable yet” or “I am poor and uneducated and don’t speak well” ……

Many of these have no more respect for lgbts than do others, yet when they see a church risk some of its capital -- its respectability -- to be in solidarity with a despised group of Queers, they are given pause. Instead of joining the chorus complaining, “That church can’t be Christian!” a few might wonder, “would they welcome me too?”

Would they? Would Jesus?

"Kingdom of God" is understood through the mystery of the seed coming forth in its own good time

"Kingdom of God" is especially like the mustard seed, tiny and apparently insignificant, but behold the huge shrub one tiny mustard seed becomes. Behold the difference between what appears big and what is big, what seems important and what is important.

See also

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