Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roots among the Rocks: Self-identity versus Identity-transformation

This reflection was printed in the Newfoundland Anglican Life: September 2010 Issue

During the General Synod we were presented with the first presentation of the wonderful play called “Roots Among the Rocks.” This powerful drama, presented by the Anglican/Lutherian youth under the direction of Jenny Salisbury, portrayed the struggles of a number of youth with their issues of identity and acceptance in the Church. It displayed the various ‘common’ spiritual struggles of youth and their feelings of acceptance in the church as a solution for their identity struggle. It was not without forethought that the drama included a scene of ‘intimacy’ between two females, who then sought the acceptance of their relationship in the church. When they were ‘received/accepted’ they were happy and well.
The problem with all of the ‘solutions’ of acceptance in the Church was what I call the entrenchment of identity. There was no sense of repentance, in that one states, “This is where I am today,” rather than, “I desire to be more in You, LORD Jesus.” The lack of repentant, penitent, confessional language, not only in the drama of ‘Roots Among the Rocks’, but also in the whole of the Anglican General Synod, is a reflection that the Anglican Church of Canada has truly lost its way. We are demanding that God accept us were we are and as we are, rather than in the confession of our brokenness and our need to be more deeply found in the fullness of Christ by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The classical, Biblical, and traditional language of Anglicanism was noticeably absent during General Synod. Our crisis today is profoundly rooted in the quest for self-identity rather than the quest to be found in the Christ-identity through self-denial and personal transformation. Perhaps the ‘weak’ confession of the BAS needs to be strengthened by the sturdy words of the Book of Common Prayer:
“ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We
have erred and strayed from thy ways like
offended against thy holy laws, We have left
undone those things which we ought to have
done, And we have done those things which we
ought not to have done; And there is no health
in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God,
which confess their faults. Restore thou them that
are penitent; According to thy promises declared
unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant,
O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may
hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.”

No comments:

Post a Comment