Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Self-Anointed Righteous

[I don't think I'm alone in being a devotee of Barbara Crafton's daily meditations. When she posted this one, I believed it warranted wider distribution. You can read it here. Better yet, go to her site and subscribe for the daily notes.

Barbara is not – as far as I can tell – a partisan in the current Anglican Peyton Place. But she does frequently call me back to my best self as a child of God and as an Episcopalian. -- Lisa Fox, blogmaster, The Episcopal Majority.]


So much un-peace, in the Church and in the world. A peculiar pride in our own stubbornness has infected many of us -- as if reconciliation somehow represented a failure of moral nerve. We are strongly attracted to visions of ourselves as lonely martyrs for a holy truth -- and this is a dangerous self-image to have. It leaves no room to accept criticism we may desperately need.

And so we leave churches that aren't holy enough for us. Assume we know God's will solely through a narrow reading of scripture, and pride ourselves on never changing our minds. We stay the course.

In doing so, we are in danger of ignoring a God who is free. A God who does new things. We won't allow it. We insist on worshipping the ancient record of God's work in the world, instead of the God to which it all attests. We will not allow God to be the unexpected thing God must be in every age.

Here comes Jesus -- a child born into a world of division. In his name, we will exclude and even kill, and we will tell ourselves in that very moment that we are doing the work of the Prince of Peace.

No wonder Jesus wept. Lord, have mercy.

Copyright © 2006 Barbara Crafton


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