Sunday, July 14, 2013
Passion and Courage -- A Call to Action -- Reflection #6 General Assembly
On the opening night of the 2013 General Assembly, my friend of thirty-seven years, the Rev. Dr. R. Glen Miles, brought the word. It was a direct word, a challenging word, a necessary word. He called on us to be passionate about our faith, about our calling. He called on us to have courage as we face the day before us. Death maybe in our future, but as Jesus reminds us, death is necessary if there is to be resurrection.
As I sat in the front row, with Glen's wife Julie, pride welled up in me, for it was my friend who was bringing the Word. But more than that I heard a call. I heard the call to take hold of the passion for my faith, to be bold in the ministry set before me. Justice awaits. Peace awaits. Most of all, love awaits. It is our message. There is no other message but the unwavering love of God that I have seen revealed in Jesus.
Glen spoke to that issue that has bedeviled us for quite some years. We saw that all are welcome to the Table of the Lord, and yet we hedge our bets. When it comes to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, we're not so sure. Yes, they can come to the Table, but can they preside at the table? Yes, it was a bold statement, one of the boldest statements I've heard in such a setting. Not all will be happy. After all, we have a vote to take on a resolution that invites us to be welcoming and gracious, even to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. The time is now to act. The time is now to take courage. The time is now to embrace the call to love as Jesus loves.
Thank you Glen for delivering this message. Let me publicly state what I said in person -- as you take up this task of Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I pledge to walk with you in season and out of season, for God has called you. Indeed, God has called a new generation to lead us into a new future, for the old has passed away, and the new has come.