Of things that matter
Today, before I checked my RSS reader, I hadn’t given a thought to GAFCON. Here’s what happened today in one parish priest’s ministry:
- I opened the church so a florist could get in to prepare for a wedding.
- I officiated at said wedding, and saw much joy and celebration. I preached on John 15 and the sacrament of marriage, and I think the patristic writers would have found nothing surprising.
- I visited a family grieving the loss of a man who was husband, father, and grandfather.
- I paid someone’s electric bill so their electric service could be restored. While doing that, I developed a special hatred for National Grid’s automated telephone system.
- I spoke with a family who are looking for a church. They’ve been wanting to find a church, but can’t quite get motivated make it on a Sunday. They’ll be in soon, they say. I believe them.
- I finished up our weekly announcements, since the parish administrators were out this week. I had to write a few notices for upcoming parish events and ministry opportunities.There’s a lot going on.
- I visited a woman who may or may not be near death — and I spoke with her family. We said prayers together.
In all this, no one asked me about my views on the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson. No one wanted to know if CANA should be able to take ECUSA property. No one asked me if I was bothered by something some Episcopal Church leader has said or done recently.
Instead, there was a regular hunger for the Good News — the news that God’s love is manifest to us in the life of Jesus Christ and in his teachings. The Good News is that God can bring the dead to new life. The Good News is that God provides. The Good News is that God offers us salvation. Those are the things that count. Focus on anything else is mere distraction from the essentials.
Our Christian commandment for this earthly life is clear. It was the message of the wedding sermon: “Love one another as I have loved you.” That’s what really matters.