Thursday, July 13, 2006

Presiding Bishop: A word to the church :: ENS

I note here that a two-tier solution to our present strains raises serious questions about how we understand ourselves as being the church. I am put in mind of Paul's understanding of the church as the body of Christ of which we are all indispensable members in virtue of our baptism. I think as well of Jesus' declaration in the Gospel of John that he is the vine and we are the branches and that apart from him we can do nothing.

Such a two-tiered view of our common life suggests to me amputated limbs and severed branches without any life-giving relationship to the One who is the source of all life. A pragmatic solution in this regard is at the expense of the deeper truth that the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you.
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Here I am put in mind of the Archbishop's observation in another context that in Baptism we are bound together in "solidarities not of our own choosing." Communion is costly and difficult to live in the concrete, and it is impossible to do so without the love, which is the very life of the Trinity, being poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

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