Open your ears, O faithful people,
Open your ears and hear God's word.
Open your hearts, O royal priesthood,
God has come to you.
God has spoken to his people, Hallelujah!
And his words are words of wisdom, Hallelujah!
Torah ora, Torah ora, Torah ora, Hallelujah!
--Hymn 536, Hymnal 1982
*Torah ora is Hebrew for, "The Law is our Light"
Today, my heart sunk when I read that our own House of Bishops meeting at Lambeth Palace in Canterbury, England are dissing their brother-in-Christ, +Gene Robinson. They'll hold one of those special gatherings for just your own little corner of the Communion on Tuesday, and they've decided to play along with the Archbishop of Canterbury's rule that no one should engage that red-nosed, pink-triangled bishop from New Hampshire in any of our bishop games.
And here I had thought that there might be some hearts changing at least within our own church. But there seems to be some bizarre overriding concern that if they were to include Robinson, they're taking a risk of getting ex-communicated from the Communion. Maybe they don't realize that, if you listen to +Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, those Bishops who call themselves "traditionalists" have already dropped the Episcopal Church from the picture. So what's the real risk then?
They who have ears to hear the message,
they who have ears, then let them hear.
They who would learn the way of wisdom,
let them hear God's word.
I can't believe that the God who called me back into the fold last November, and has been in some sort of hot pursuit of me ever since, wants me, and anyone like me, to be banished into the badlands. I don't believe God sees me as a weed that will get tossed into the fire at "the harvest time". Why, then, is it so hard for those gathering at Lambeth to overcome whatever this barrier is that keeps them from seeing Christ in all people? What is this fear?
Lately, the collects have been bringing tears to my eyes. The following one seems appropriate for my feelings today....even though it's the one scheduled for next Sunday:
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
--Proper 12, the collect for the Sunday closest to July 27
For all at Canterbury these next two weeks, I offer this simple prayer from the author Anne LaMott:
O God: Help! Help! Help!