Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This Little Babe

This little Babe so few days old
Is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake,
Though he himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmed wise
The gates of hell he will surprise.

With tears he fights and wins the field,
His naked breast stands for a shield;
His battering shot are babish cries,
His arrows looks of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns Cold and Need,
And feeble Flesh his warrior's steed.

His camp is pitched in a stall,
His bulwark but a broken wall;
The crib his trench, haystalks his stakes;
Of shepherds he his muster makes;
And thus, as sure his foe to wound,
The angels' trumps alarum sound.

My soul, with Christ join thou in fight;
Stick to the tents that he hath pight.
Within his crib is surest ward;
This little Babe will be thy guard.
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
Then flit not from this heavenly Boy.
Robert Southwell

I'm Tired of Being Afraid

Now that the 219th General Assembly is over, I (like a lot of others) am trying to figure out what happened, what I think about what happened, and what I should do next. One thing is crystal clear to me: I am sick and tired of being afraid.

I am tired of being afraid that I don't have a place. Christ bought my invitation to this party with His blood. No one's going to tell me I don't belong here.

I am tired of being afraid of losing votes. No matter what the decisions that come out of General Assembly, this is where I was planted. This is where I will bloom-- as a minority voice of dissent, or as a gentle voice in the middle, I will speak whether or not I am heard, whether or not my views prevail.

I am tired of being afraid of the fearmongers. Fear seems to be a great opener of wallets on all sides; it is a great form of discipline to keep people in line; it works well as a motivator for the next line of gladiators. But John tells me that "there is no fear in love;" fear is the opposite of what we are to live out of and what we are to give to the world. In Christ, I can love anyone without condoning their actions. There is too much fear in those with whom I agree. We seem to have lost our faith in the God who writes history.

I am tired of being afraid of what God is going to do next. Whether it was the vote to send a revision of G-6.106b to the presbyteries again, or the vote to defer the vote on changing the definition of marriage, I found myself strangely at peace. I trust God for what will happen, and for where I/we will go. I don't have to know, I don't have to understand. Wherever God's plan leads us, I will go without being afraid, and I will testify to the Truth (as I understand it) in Love the whole way.