."Committed to the full inclusion
of all the baptized in all the sacraments."
As we approach the Feast of Pentecost, the quote I've been dwelling on this week comes from Benedictine monk Fr. Bede Griffith:
"If one starts with doctrines the arguments are endless ... But when one comes to the level of interior experience, that is where the meeting takes place ... It is in this cave of the heart that the meeting has to take place. That is the challenge."
Pentecost -- arguably the "birthday of the church" -- is also arguably the Feast of That Interior Experience. It is the feast of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the disciples -- an interior experience that empowered them to go out into the world proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ Jesus rather than staying in that upper room worrying about when the next shoe was going to drop from the religious establishment who had "had it up to here" with the idea that God was doing a new thing.
As we celebrate yet-another-birthday-of-the-church on this Pentecost 2008, let us celebrate as well that the Holy Spirit came among us not as a doctrine to argue about or a report to "comply with" or a covenant-with-an-appendix to assent to. Rather we celebrate a Holy Spirit who came as a rush of wind, a tongue of fire and the gift of proclaiming, in many languages, the Gospel of the One who loved us enough to become one of us and called us to love each other as we have been loved. And let us be open to the same transformative power of that same Holy Spirit to enter "the cave of our heart" and enable us to go and do likewise.
Like the 1st century disciples, may we in our 21st century, be freed from fretting about the next shoe to drop from a religious institution who has "had it up to here" with the idea that God is doing a new thing and instead be empowered to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ Jesus that is in us -- in our lives, our vocations and our relationships -- in the Anglican Communion and beyond.
All best blessings,
(The Reverend) Susan Russell
President, Integrity USA
In Other News:
Recommended sermon: Can I Get A Witness? by the Reverend Michael Hopkins
Recommended viewing: +Gene Robinson on The Today Show
Recommended reading: The Presiding Bishop's Pentecost Letter
Next week: An update on plans for our witness at Lambeth Conference
For more information on any of the above, or to contribute online to Integrity's Canterbury Campaign, visit the Integrity website.