Sunday, November 05, 2006

Where are your marbles?

Although I was born into historic times, most of my life I never noticed much. I stood (or sat) on the fringes of every major change to sweep across my country: beginning with the end of WW II, and onto to the subsequent fear of Communism, Nuclear Destruction. (There was one bomb shelter in my town, a novelty that never quite caught on.)

The Civil Rights and Women's Movements passed me by. I joined the Navy during the Vietnam Conflict because I needed a summer job. Later I sang protest songs in a coffee house because I liked to sing. I was not one of those people who felt I could, or even wanted to, change the world.

Once I watched a movie called Same Time Next Year and was shocked at how incredibly amazing my century had been: the changes in thought, technology, music, culture. I had not even been involved and felt a little sad, left behind. Occasionally I'd go to some political rally but I was generally bored with the rhetoric. As I've mentioned before, the people I voted for always lost their elections, so I gave up voting.

So... how ironic that at the tail end of my life, I seem to have landed smack dab in the middle of the greatest crisis our species has yet to face. Worldwide population is out of control. Extreme hunger, disease and death stalk more than a third of Earth's inhabitants. As a nation and a culture we continue to exploit each other and the natural resources to live an affluent life denied everyone else. We wonder why people hate us, why they'd blow themselves up to get our attention.

Most of us who call ourselves Christian ignore the main focus of Christ's Word... service, sacrifice, generosity. We focus instead on who may and may not get into heaven, who may and may not belong to our club. And if someone we disapprove of (for any reason) is able to join, let alone lead, we pick up our marbles and look for another place to start a game.

Katharine Jefferts Schori was invested as the Presiding Bishop of our church yesterday in Washington, DC. I was actually there. That she is the first woman is historic, of course. (And did I mention I was there?) That she preached her own sermon may have been historic, I don't know. That she focused on the Word of Christ rather than gender victory or the deadly schism we're currently dealing with, was, in its own way prophetic. To read the entire thing yourself, it's here. The woman is no slouch, and it's already obvious she will be loved by many. However, like Jesus, she's going to make waves and more than likely, a lot of enemies. I will probably never change the world, but I can change. And I can refuse to allow or watch another crucifixion.

7 comments:

kpjara said...

Wow...what a wonderful experience!

Andrew said...

From Schori's sermon: "This church has said that our larger vision will be framed and shaped in the coming years by the vision of shalom embedded in the Millennium Development Goals – a world where the hungry are fed, the ill are healed, the young educated, women and men treated equally, and where all have access to clean water and adequate sanitation, basic health care, and the promise of development that does not endanger the rest of creation. That vision of abundant life is achievable in our own day, but only with the passionate commitment of each and every one of us. It is God's vision of homecoming for all humanity. [Applause]"

Spoken like a true Pelagian!

Claire Joy said...

Ahhhh yes, The Pelagians... another group of Christians persecuted for their common sense approach to the Gospel.

HeyJules said...

CJ! How wonderful! What a blessing to get to be there in person. :-)

"Same time Next Year"...one of the few movies I actually OWN.

Anonymous said...

LOL "Sister" has about a poor understading of Church history as she does Christian theology.
What a complete disaster the ECUSA has become.

Natty said...

Amen! Did I mention that if this whole "Becoming a Catholic Sister in Michigan" thing doesn't work out, I've a back-up plan to defect to Canada and become an Episcopalian! That or go UU in Europe somewhere... ;)

Natty said...

P.S. That "Amen" was for Sr. CJ, NOT the previous commentor...