Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Church is called to live love, not sell it.

"It is not a case of build it and they will come: it is a case of live it and they will come. We are one with the One; it is He who calls each and every man woman and child to His Son, it is the Spirit who mystically tugs at the inner place of all and the all can respond or not.

Let the Church live the life of the body, let it worship, let it come to the altar and partake of the Sacraments, that mystical union with the One beyond our knowing, beyond our knowledge. Let the Church set aside its debate and arguments over things that add nothing but divide and destroy the soul and despair the Spirit.

Forget the marketing, forget the mail drops, forget the 'relevancy' and instead of going out and contending with the Spirit for souls become a place where people can come in and know they have found home. Find rest. Find Love manifest by the love of others.

A Sunday morning (if it is a Sunday morning that is prescribed) should be a place of soaking of refueling of being reborn time and time again, of union not division, of embracing those who attend not counting those who are not, of trusting in God to bring about his will not wondering what must be done to fill the pews or the coffers because God has failed to do so (in our eyes).

The Church is called to live love, not sell it."  
George Dunning

This comment was inspired by a post at Creedal Christian's Bryan Owen  
called, "The Church is only the Church insofar as it offers the Sacraments with meek heart and due reverence" 

In particular Mr Owan was commenting on a post from  Fr. Robert Hendrickson titled, "The Church which is His Body: On Restructuring, the Episcopate, and the Sacraments"

Fr. Robert makes a very, very important comment:

“….she said, “well you are a sacramental priest – so that makes sense for you. We need to be thinking of other ways to be priests too.” I could not disagree more.
The Church is only the Church insofar as it offers the Sacraments with meek heart and due reverence. It seems to me that in the conversations about restructuring the Church, or a missional Church, or the many other ways we can imagine the Church changing that we are losing the simple fact that we first and foremost offer the Sacraments. If one visits the Episcopal Church’s website and clicks on “What We Do” you will not find the Sacraments. They are certainly listed under “What we Believe” but they are not just what we believe – they are what we do, who we are, how we are meant to be, and what we are called to be more of.
We are initiated in baptism, fed in the Eucharist, express our devotion in confirmation, find forgiveness in confession, seek healing in anointing, embrace love in marriage, and some seek new forms of service in ordination. The sacraments walk us through the life cycle, drawing us to God and back to God and home to God. They are the foundation of ministry and unify the faithful in grace. The administration of the Sacraments cannot be unwoven from our pastoral function, nor from our teaching function, nor from social justice for it is through them that we are healed, united, and learn of God’s mercies.”

This couples well with an article I read about how modern approaches to worship are failing.     See my post called, DE-NEWING WORSHIP

Do we not have to be true to who we are as the Church?  If it is the Eucharist that defines us, forms us, renews us, and sends us, then shouldn't we be embracing the Eucharistic worship for all we are worth? 

LORD have mercy,  Brian+ 

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