Before I launch in to my theology of February 7, 2009...I want you to read these words that were part of the Daily Office yesterday:
Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say,
‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people’;
and do not let the eunuch say,
‘I am just a dry tree.’
For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
who choose the things that please me
and hold fast my covenant, I will give, in my house and within my walls,
a monument and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that shall not be cut off.
And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,all who keep the sabbath,
and do not profane it,
and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.* --Isaiah 56:3-8
I am always taken with how the readings in the Daily Office square with what's happening in my life and the rest of the world. And this one is especially timely given the news out of Egypt about the meeting of the Anglican Primates and their continued attempts to achieve a peaceable kingdom within the Anglican Communion. For a thorough breakdown of what went down in Egyptland, I would recommend going HERE and reading Fr. Mark Harris' take on the events. (For the more brass knuckles take, click HERE for the Mad Priest's insight!).
My own view is that there is the continued mush-mouthed mumblings about "gracious restraint" in regards to full inclusion of the LGBT community which, as Fr. Mark notes, isn't gracious if those in the majority are telling those in the minority, "Take your seat in the back of the bus and be quiet!" And that seems to be what is going on, and will likely continue for awhile.
If only the Primates, who also spent time on matters of pressing importance like Sudan and Rwanda, would look at the words of the Daily Office! I can't help but reach the conclusion that what the prophet Isaiah was imparting is a message of inclusion: "Even the foreigner, my fellow Israelites, even the eunuch (a man who has no wife, has no children), if they turn their faces toward God, they will find that God will make a place for them at the festive table." Certainly, it is the discovery the apostles made as they traveled about in the Book of Acts. And how else can one understand the mission of St. Paul?
There's no escape from it: God loves straights and gays alike and sees them as all part of the creative plan of God's. And I continue to live in hope that one day, we'll all see that, too.