that the church breaks God’s heart?
While there are many people who truly desire to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves, my experience tells me we often fall far short.
This morning I was distressed to read (here or here) about the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops statement responding to the Dar Es Salaam Communique. The HOB statement was very clear in saying “no” to the Comminque’s requests. Effectively, this moves the worldwide Anglican Communion closer to the breaking point over the authority and interpretation of the scriptures and the importance of like-mindedness among God’s people (and especially among the leadership of the church). I to believe this grieves the heart of God.
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
That’s where I want to be, in the mind-and-heart attitude that Paul writes of to the Phillipians. If we’re to be like Jesus, to be disciples in the deepest context, how can we seek for anything less?
I don’t know what will happen to the Episcopal Church or the worldwide Anglican Communion. I know that our Diocese is strong, that our leadership is godly. But I don’t know what will happen, or when “it” will happen. I’m not judging anyone, I’m just sad that the Church in it’s many expressions continues to sub-divide and stray much like the people of God throughout documented history. My heart is heavy, my eyes are full to overflowing as I cry out to the Lord to purify his people, his bride, and hasten the day of his return. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.