Friday, January 30, 2009

Primates' meeting in Alexandria

Sigh. I suppose my faith compels me to pray for the primates' meeting. Given the agenda of some persons, this leaves me feeling rather like Flush Limpbone being forced, kicking and screaming, to pray for the President's success.

One can often say of persons around whom one would rather not be that one bears them no ill will. Frankly, I am not quite that evolved towards certain primates of the Anglican Communion. Heaven only knows how far I have regressed, evolutionarily speaking, but I actually bear some ill will toward those who oppress my sisters and brothers. I know this is not good for me.

There is the analogy that hating is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it. But I am not talking hatred, just acknowledging some ill will. I know the difference between the love that is commanded and liking someone. I can be committed to the ultimate well-being of people I don't particularly like. And in the very long scheme of things I wish healing and bliss to Henry and Peter. But in the very short scheme, not so much. I quite want them thwarted and their oppressive behavior halted and I really do not like them even a little bit, though I know they are precious in God's sight. That, for now, is simply how it is.

I profoundly distrust gatherings of ecclesiastical primates. I consider them situations rife with potential for evil and instruments of the quest for power. Put more graphically: huge opportunities for the satanic.

All of that notwithstanding, my faith is in God and that faith is far greater than my fear of devils or of humans or of institutions, even of primates.

And there is potential for collaboration in ministry, the ministry of Christ, the ministry of God's reign. The Spirit is always full of surprises and grace and Gospel can break out where least expected.

And so:

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in Alexandria for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach them in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide them to perceive what is right, and grant them both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

--the BB
Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer, USA 1979

Illustration of primates tree from Conservation International


Jane R said...

Nicest lookin' bunch of primates we've seen in a long time!

Paul said...


With the exception of Gallito Mescalito and Mr. Red Peanut Bank, of course.

And we all know who the really gorgeous bishops are, right?

Love to +Maya.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I profoundly distrust gatherings of ecclesiastical primates.

Me, too, Paul.

Great picture. Whenever I hear or read "primates in procession", I picture the primates like those in your picture in fabulous ecclesiastical dress.

gerry said...

Thank you Mimi, I just had a flash of of Paul's "Primates" Mitred and Coped sitting around a table in the style of those whimsical paintings of dogs smoking cigars, drinking brandy and playing cards.

I've often wondered what happened to the one that hung in my uncle's family room...

The ABC would be well advised to dissolve the Primates Meeting.

Given that some are incapable of joining our PB and others at the Lord's table what is the point?

Paul said...

Gerry, you took Mimi's comment to its logical conclusion. What a great image. Had I the Photoshop skills and the leisure....!

Alas, they are capable of joining +Katherine but they are unwilling. And that calls in question everything they have to say about any subject whatsoever. They represent the "wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate" strand of the biblical tradition but have utterly missed "whosoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out."

It seems to me that they have very little faith in God and far too much reliance on themselves. They really do need to ponder the story of Uzzah.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Gerry, your imagery tops mine. I concede to a master.