I am in the process of reading "In the Eye of the Storm" by New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson. I figured, "Hey, I'm gonna be in New Hampshire. I wanna read his book." And, as I've said before in this blog, the most striking thing about the book is reading Gene's passion for "the Good News", not just "the gay news". Bishop Robinson loves the Bible. He wants to share it with people because it's been his own lifeline and a connection to something greater than himself.
I'm only half-way through the book, but he's so far candidly covered the topic of sexuality, both from a Biblical scholarly perspective and noting the current struggles as they play out in the church. And where I'm at now is his constant reminder to everyone: God loves us all...each one of us....in all our imperfect and perfect ways. And God wants only one thing in return for his love: he wants us to love him back. These are the words of a man who has a spirit of Christ within him that is obvious to those who know him, and can be found by reading his words.
And yet, I don't think he'll ever stop being "the gay bishop" to most of the world. Because most of the world can not see beyond his sexual orientation. This week, he and others are on their way to England for the Lambeth Conference. Except, Bishop Robinson is the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer of the bishops and hasn't been invited to their reindeer games. And yet, he's going. He will stand on the outside of the gates along with others. He will preach one Sunday. And he will show "For The Bible Tells Me So" as a fundraiser for AIDS treatment programs in Africa.
It would be better if the Archbishop had seen fit to invite him inside to hob-nob and study alongside his fellow church leaders. But perhaps his exclusion will serve as a visible reminder to those in the Communion of good conscience to ask the difficult questions, and remind the AC that "lost sheep" come in all variations of humanity and we should be working toward a more inclusive Church.
To stay abreast of what all is happening from the perspective of +Gene Robinson, follow these links:
There will also be a daily VIDEO blog for Claiming the Blessing, called The Lambeth Gene Pool:http://lambethgenepool.blogspot.com/
May God's peace which passes all understanding keep the hearts and minds of all inside and outside Lambeth 2008 in a place of openess and willingness to hear each other. Amen.