Spread the Word
One of today’s readings is Ezekiel 3:4-11. I think that I would like to relate it to today. I would like to read into the prophet’s words the idea that God is talking to us as Episcopalians, especially in the dioceses of Fort Worth and San Joaquin.
We are being sent out to spread the word – the word of truth and justice, not to people from another denomination (although they might listen more nearly to us) but to our own. We are sent to a people who are refusing to listen to us; a people who are brazen and stubborn. But God is making us as brazen and stubborn as those to whom we are sent. Our brows have been made adamant, harder than flint. And we are not to fear these to whom we have been sent regardless of how rebellious they are. God is telling us to speak out, tell the truth and go to all those, especially those who are in exile and speak to them all. If they refuse to listen, we are to continue on, telling them that these are the “words of the Lord GOD.”
This morning I accepted a last minute invitation to attend a meeting of a group of people of a Fort Worth parish. They were meeting with some of the nominees for their vestry and convention delegates prior to the annual parish meeting coming up this next Sunday. They all had a lot of questions.
We have not been a questioning people in this diocese. We have been so intent upon just going about our own business within our parishes that we have merely ducked our heads when diocesan mandates are tossed at us. The “diocese” has said jump and we merely ask how high.
But that is changing. A lot of the change is of the current leadership’s own making…so many statements just don’t make sense or are just downright silly…i.e. the Epiphany card from the Presiding Bishop to the bishops of this Church – Mr. Iker was offended because the wise’men’ appeared to be wise women. Goodness…
Part of the change comes from the people wanting to ask questions yet not being able to get answers. It is the “father knows best” ideology. To question Daddy Dearest is to perform the ultimate sin. Forget Mother Nature…one does not question the bishop’s mandates.
As has been pointed out so clearly by Katie Sherrod and others, it is not heretical to disagree with the bishop.
So, I report with a great deal of gratitude and thanksgiving, the laity in this diocese are awakening and talking about the wonders that they see. This is a good thing. It matters little if they agree. It matters only that they are talking together. As we talk, so we spread the word. This is a very good thing.
We will do as we have been told to do and continue to speak to our fellow Episcopalians – those with whom we agree and those with whom we disagree – whether they listen or refuse to listen -- regardless of what words they use to deride us. Why? Because this is what we have been told to do.