Monday, September 17, 2007

"Has Christ Been Divided?"

Yesterday, attending an absolutely wonderful adult forum on Human Sexuality at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, I was told by another parishioner that Bishop Iker would not mind us having the discussion that we were having. In fact, she went so far as to say that she felt that he would welcome our discussion. I pray that this is so.

Therefore, today, I bring up one of the daily readings in light of the impending meeting of the House of Bishops. Our bishop has proclaimed that he will attend only the beginning of this important meeting so that he might hear the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Episcopal Bishops’ response to him.

In the words of Paul to the Church at Corinth: 1 Corinthians 1:1-19 (NRSV)
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul," or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

As we all are sent out to proclaim the gospel, so may our servant brothers and sisters in the House of Bishops and may our brother Rowan do the same over this next week. May +Jack and all the others remember that Christ cannot be divided. Most of all may they all remember and cherish this promise:
“There is one Body and one Spirit;
There is one hope in God's call to us;
One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;
One God and Father of all.”

The Lord be with you.
Let us pray.

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