Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Death and Resurrection-- What the World Needs and Seeks

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!


  1. Amen and Amen, Clay! What a blessing it was to be a witness to not only Sunday night, but the entire 72 hours of the weekend! Sunday night was so filled with the power of the Holy Spirit - people could not move fast enough to hug and love one another. Friends and strangers alike were all united in one cause - TO LOVE AS JESUS HAS LOVED US!! I hope and pray that someday that same love will fill all of Grace Presbytery! In the meantime they are always welcome to witness it at OCPC!!

    In Christ's Love!

  2. I am grateful to God for the witness of faith and the presence of the risen Christ among you.

    I, for one, have not been following the count because it changes nothing to me. We will still have a problem, because the Spirit of God will call whomever the Spirit of God calls.

    God is sovereign, and we forget that to our peril. God will use a Samaritan when we think God should use a Levite or a priest; Christ will hold up a nearly penniless widow over those whose wealth declares the blessing of God according to Deuteronomistic theology; the risen Christ will sent his apostle to the transgendered Ethiopian; the angel of the Lord will appear to the uncircumcised Gentile centurion of the occupying power and the Spirit of God will fall upon his household, interrupting even Peter, that great rock of a disciple, as he stands trying to figure out why and how.

    And whomever God calls this time, that violates our well-guarded boundaries--whether a Tony Campolo, for those of us on the so-called left, or a Lisa Larges, for those on the so-called right--God will use. And if one church or denomination will not have them, God will use them elsewhere.

    God is not occupied with our attempts to limit whom God can call, discipline or use, and God does not have wings that we should live on the right or left one.

    So, you are right, inasmuch as we are more occupied with whether "we are right" than with what God wants and with what God is doing, we become atheistic in our thinking and our living.

    ...All of us...

    Grace and peace!