It was a 1960s kind of start to Morning Prayer. Ecclesiatces 3:1-15, the basis for the lyrics to a tune by The Byrds. But besides those familiar words about a "time to love and a time to hate" I'm so struck by how this language hit me and resonated with me this morning, particularly verse 11:
He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
I had to exhale as I read that verse. To me, this is the essence of "THE MESSAGE" that I wish, so wish, that more people especially those in the hierarchy of Anglicanism would take into their very beings. For all the "talk" that some in the Communion have given year-in and year-out about seasons of "gracious restraint" and constantly saying, "Not at this time" to whatever group is deemed 'other', the truth of the matter is... the only one who sets these seasons and times is God. And even though we can perceive it on one level, ultimately we have no way of being definitive about what is that God has done, is doing, or will do because we are NOT God. As I considered the whole of the lines 1-15, I had what felt like an important realization: all times and all seasons rest with God, and God's spirit will blow the winds that shift and change seasons. No people are expected to live in winter forever.
So, with that in mind, why in the world did the Archbishop of Canterbury write a letter that would advocate for the exclusion of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada for recognizing that we are living in a new season, or different one, than in other parts of the globe?
Our Presiding Bishop ... and California Bishop Marc Andrus... have responded to the ABC. Both make excellent and forceful arguments in favor of following the Holy Spirit and calling into question what exactly the Archbishop is hoping to achieve cloaking a punitive letter in the form of a "pastoral" letter at Pentecost. After all, isn't the Spirit the Sustainer of Life and not the Purveyor of Death to 'Others'?