Reflecting on the events of this weekend has taken some time, but now that the wounds have scabbed over and I have gotten some rest, I can see in better perspective the powerful Hope and Call of the events that I have just witnessed.
Grace Presbytery gathered ready to fight on Saturday morning-- I know because I seemed to always be crossing the road when one of those loaded on a mission roared up and ran over me. But standing with them, insisting I would not fight, but I would not run, slowly they all-- left and right-- ground to a halt and noticed that those weren't speed bumps that they had been thumping over. They were people-- left and right.
The vote went as it did-- and facebook friends, please be clear, my hurt was not the result. My hurts came from being run over before the vote ever happened. And they were worth it-- because by allowing them to hit me, I forced them to see me as a person. Because they hit me, they went into the room less willing to hit each other. The hurt was more than worth it.
We shall have to deal with each other as brothers and sisters. If we cannot do that, we do not deserve to survive as a part of Christ's Body-- if we cannot love our brother and sister whom we can see, how can we possibly love the God Whom we cannot see? What is destroying the PC(USA) is an unbridled willingness to treat each other as things. This is not the church. Means determine ends in the economy of Christ-- and the means which we have used these 30 years, no matter who was winning and who was losing, lead to one end-- death.
Sunday night, Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church was packed to the ceiling-- not a seat left empty in the sanctuary-- balcony full-- parking lot full. People had come from miles away to hear one thing-- the witness of 34 women at the closing worship service of Oak Cliff Great Banquet #18. They heard one woman confess her faith in Christ for the first time, many who had let go of burdens, and all of whom had been born again into a life full of hope by Christ's rising from the dead, and His risen presence through the power of the Holy Spirit. They stood before us different people than they had been just 72 hours before. And the world was beating down the door to see it.
One day, I hope and pray that when Grace Presbytery meets, the world make take notice for the same reason-- as Tertullian said the Roman world took notice of us: "see how they love one another." We will not solve our differences. We must learn to die to self, to rise in Christ, and live with our differences. Saturday, I hope Grace Presbytery began to learn how to become the Body of Christ again. Sunday night, Christ animated a group of women and the world saw and heard Christ speak in power. Arise, bridegroom of Christ. Arise, shine, for thy Light is come!