Psalms 25 * 9, 15; Proverbs 10:1-12; 1 Timothy 1:1-17; Matthew 12:22-32
Our country is pretty well divided in half politically. Look at the recent presidential elections, all relatively VERY close contests. Look at the Democratic primary race with less then 1% point (of the popular vote) separating the two candidates. All indications are that the general election itself in November will be a real squeaker. The Episcopal Church is divided, not nearly as closely, but there is a very vocal minority who appear to receive much more press then their numbers should indicate as appropriate. Yet, if we look at the Anglican Communion itself, those numbers of dissenters certainly increases: not a majority by any shape of the imagination, but still a larger number then what exists in this country.
Why pair these two: presidential election candidates and those strident folk in the minority of The Episcopal Church? Both groups say they are following their hearts, following what they believe to be true, and some may actually be doing so. But deep down, it is all about power and control and authority and prestige. There is missing from these two groups a demeanor of humbleness. There is missing a focus on the One, True and Living God.
It is so easy to get distracted by bullies. But getting distracted allows one to enter the strong man's house and plunder his property. We need to aggressively fight those who have stolen church property, but not at the expense of humbly focusing on God and the kingdom we are called to emulate here and now.
In the long run, the will of God will endure and succeed. Perhaps one side will "win" the property dispute, but at what cost? God's time is not ours. Ours is far more limited. Being focused on Scripture and our work in the world is primary. A demeanor of humbleness, remaining focused on God's work, needs to be paramount and will lead to true success: whatever that may look like.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.