Thursday, February 01, 2007

 

Fast day...

I had an interesting day today…it was a “normal” fast day for me, except that it was not normal at all…nothing really earth-shattering but still very interesting and reminded me that it’s all about the grace of God.

I hadn’t eaten dinner last night, just had a sandwich instead…not sure why, I usually make sure to have dinner the night before my fast.

I had my usual cup of coffee for breakfast on the way to work…nothing unusual there.

About a few hours before lunchtime, persons around me started snacking; later on, they started ordering lunch. Is it me, or do they do this everyday? I am sure they do but not on this level – someone was actually walking around taking orders.

Psychosomatic or real, I began to feel uncomfortably hungry. I really needed our Lord’s grace if I was going to be faithful to this fast!

The food is here and it smelled really good…think jerk chicken, et al. I had to get away, I thought, so I took a 30-min lunch break. I went to sit in my car to get away, regroup my thoughts, and recoup my strength which was flagging.

So here I go, “thank God I am away from that food, now I can have some quiet time”.

I am convinced that our Lord has a sense of humor…

I decided to continue reading a book I had started, and kept in the car. It’s called “Facing East - A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy” by Frederica Mathewes-Green, a former Episcopalian who, along with her husband, an Episcopal priest, converted to the Orthodox faith.

In the mini-chapter entitled “Beef Stew on Friday”, I came upon these words, quoted from a hymn:

In vain do you rejoice in not eating, O soul!
For you abstain from food,
But from passions you are not purified.
If you persevere in sin, you will perform a useless fast.


Those words drew me up sharp and really got my focus.

My fast is not a test of physical endurance, but a type, a pattern, for spiritual discipline. It is a practice for fasting from sinful passions...to cease doing my work and start doing His.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

 

Bishop Reid (Diocese of Jamaica) speaks about Truro, etc.

Sometimes it is better to say NOTHING than to say SOMETHING unwise.

That is what came to my mind when I read the Jamaica Observer report of the statement by the Anglican Bishop of Jamaica, Bishop Alfred Reid – a man I know personally and have a lot of respect for.

The first question that came to my mind was “why would it be necessary to say “the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands wishes to state that it is not a party to…”? Why would the Diocese of Jamaica be a party to the action of two churches in Virginia? There is no companion Diocese relationship, nor is there an overwhelming presence of Jamaicans involved. This must be pure hyperbole.

The real ‘kicker’ though, is the statement saying the Diocese of Jamaica does not support the action taken by these two churches and then goes on to excoriate Archbishop Akinola for “seeking to create schism”. With all respect, this is probably the most outrageous statement I have ever heard Bishop Reid make.

I ‘don’t recall whether he made a same or similar statement when the AMiA was formed under the authority of the Archbishops of South East Asia and Rwanda.

Bishop Reid says “Archbishop Akinola knows full well that the leadership of the worldwide Anglican Communion has been at pains to seek to deal in a holistic and timely manner with the issues raised ever since Robinson's ordination."

Bishop Reid “knows full well” (or certainly ought to know) that the real issue is not homosexual behavior – the issue is the authority of Scripture. It can be debated whether homosexuality is condemned in Scripture (I happen to think it is) but the issue is the opponents of this kind of behavior are not just opposed to it per se, but also because their reading of Scripture (not to mention the reading of the vast majority of the church for 2,000 years) makes it sin.

Bishop Reid “knows full well” that the leadership of the worldwide Anglican Communion has been at pains to…” to keep the ‘conversation’ going. That is what Anglicans do; it is a purple-colored talkshop. The only problem with that is ‘while the grass is growing, the horse is starving’.

Bishop Reid also “knows full well” that there is no middle ground. He has already stated, “the Church in the Province of the West Indies took a clear position…that homosexual behavior is contrary to Scripture and therefore is inappropriate as a lifestyle to those who aspire to leadership in the Church." What would Bishop Reid’s response be if he were caught in the situation that the orthodox find themselves in?

I commend Bishop Reid for reiterating the Jamaican Church’s position on the homosexuality issue but to accuse Archbishop Akinola of “seeking to create a schism” is ridiculous.

The fact is, by the church’s historical standards, the Episcopal Church of the U.S. (now TEC) is apostate, or at best, schismatic. Would Bishop Reid disagree? How can it be schismatic to leave a schismatic group and seek to align with the existing 2,000-year-old church teaching? In Anglican ecclesiology, a church needs a bishop – is Bishop Reid willing to have these churches leave Anglicanism? Has Bishop Reid thought through the impact of one of TEC’s orthodox bishops taking these congregations under their care?

Additionally, it would be interesting to hear his comments on TEC’s new Presiding Bishop. His “commissary” for Southeastern US seems to think she is an exemplary leader – he has the following quotation on his church signpost: “Women are Leaders, Like Bishop Schori”.
Really?

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