Sunday, June 4, 2017

shed abroad



Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Some theologian or liturgist is justly quite proud of this lovely well-meaning collect, which is a goofy, pious, vacant, say it and get on with it, share-a-cup-of-tea-with-Rosy work where the petition (italics) theologically lays on Almighty God the job that Jesus, at Matthew 28:18f in Galilee, laid on the disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 
Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel won't work, isn't going to happen, God has no hands but our hands, God isn't going to do it for us. Passing the work back to the delegator and move on with the liturgy, small wonder the whole world isn’t Christian. Which brings to mind Saturday’s murderous incident at London Bridge, that people are not united, people do not want to be united and will not unite. Menschlichkeit, humanness, is to mistrust, contemn, fear, hate those who differ from us. If we do not consciously hate them, we do culturally segregate them, put them down, ignore them, shun them, fail to welcome and assimilate them, because they are different. Love is not a feeling, but what you do to others, which here becomes hate, an opposite of love your neighbor. The unassimilated, the ones who do not become, and feel themselves as, and feel accepted as, one and equal with and integral to society around them, become the problem and threat for the rest. Surely we can see this. To accept immigrants, we need workable national melding, assimilating, integrating programs throughout society to welcome and incorporate those who immigrate, else immigration should be forbidden altogether, even reversed, until such is in place. Our current way is working to spread distrust and hatred, to spawn terrorism. With their best intentions of putting their past shame to rest, the most well-meaning of current European nations are experiencing this in spades. They have opened the gates and, overwhelmed, are living into the end of civilization as they have known it. We are next. Surely it cannot be that our sole options are suicidal hatred or obtuseness.
A somewhat better collect for Pentecost.

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to us the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Or, actually, the first collect could be fixed by changing a word or two here and there ...


DThos+ 

    


   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.