The worst threat to any denomination has always been “the church will fracture due to political maneuverings.” I find this a hollow fear.
A door may close. A program may be slashed. Real estate may be sold. As long as there is one creature that declares a loving God created and resides in his or her heart? The church is alive.
Oddly enough, the ones worried about the fracture are the same in political circles and religious ones – the liberals. The conservatives aren’t worrying about the fracture(s). They are too busy protecting their immediate needs.
Liberals worry about keeping families together and pointing faces toward the future. Conservative focus on defining their “version” of family and pointing fingers in faces.
Conservatives scream about how right and righteous they are. Liberals cower away from declaring themselves “right” or righteous.
Conservatives plot and liberals ponder. It’s always the same. In the end? Conservatives are nodding their heads and liberals are shaking theirs. It’s frustrating to watch.
And it’s painful to watch ugly, old politics come into the walls of sanctuaries. A sanctuary is no place for politics. So much can go wrong during that distraction.
Today’s sermon was a great sermon. Father Paul baptized me 35 years ago and those same big hands gave me communion today. Sure, they call him Bishop today, but I know that smile, those rosy cheeks, and those glittering eyes. He’s TOTALLY my Father Paul.
One thing he said today will stick with me for a long time. I’m paraphrasing the context, but wrote down the quote to be exact.
He talked to us about what exactly it means to receive baptism, confirmation, reception, etc. into the Christian body. He reminded us how important it is to take that grace we are given through the Great Thanksgiving and share it abundantly, unconditionally, and without regard to self. He said it was our duty to take that “into the troubled and broken world – a world that doesn’t have a chance without Him.”
I agree. That is exactly why the plots, schemes, fractures, tears, failures, exhausting and crippling disappointments have no place in God’s churches.
Love one another and within “love” should also be respect, treasure, adore, admire, listen to, comfort, embrace, accept. It’s the very least we can do with what we’ve been given. And we must. The world needs it and it “doesn’t have a chance without Him.”
Focus. The world doesn’t need you to define love. It needs you to show it.