Friday, December 6, 2019

SMACK DOWN NOT



The story is told about St. Nicholas. He was with all the other church bishops who gathered at Nicea to decide on issues of theology of what was orthodox and what was heterodox (or, not true). One of the bishops named Arius was speaking, making an argument that orthodoxy would not equate Jesus Christ with God. This, of course, is what we know as the hersey of Arianism. While the council decided the homoiousian nature of the Son of God ("begotten of the Father -- the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father -- God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father"), Arianism is said to degrade the nature of Christ to that of a demigod, and reintroduced polytheism into the monotheism of Judaism and the earliest Christian teaching.


In this season of Advent, preparing -- in part -- for Christmas, I would suggest that we do well to place gentleness, the dignity of each person, humble leadership, and kindness before dogma or doctrine. Afterall, the coming of God's reign is within analogy of "thy Kin-Dom come; thy will be done." The will of God is summed up in Micah 6:8 -- upon which this whole blogsite is based -- "God) has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the (Holy One, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One) require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Rather than slapping those with whom our beliefs differ, let us share respect, acceptance, affirmation, and inclusion. It seems to me that God is more concerned about such things than orthodoxy in theology.

Don't get me wrong. Orthodoxy and theology have their place in our life and our spiritual formation. I just think that the orthdoxy of love and care for each other is higher on the scale of the Kin-Dom.

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Loving God, in whose Kin-Dom there is the wholeness of
perfect peace with justice.
May our advent preparations to celebrate your coming --
coming into your own as creator, redeemer, and perfector --
be known in the compassion and mercy we share with
all people and the world in which we live.
Declare within our heart of hearts that we are to be a people
for whom "learning war" is beyond being even a distant memory.
Reframe us to the resistance that would
"let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
For we long to live into our true selves: loved, love, and beloved.
Blessed are you, and blessed is your Kin-Dom forever.




Eternal God,
in your great love
you gave to your servant Nicholas
a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea.
Grant that your Church may never cease to work
for the happiness of children,
the safety of sailors,
the relief of the poor
and the help of those who are tossed
by tempests of doubt or grief;
for Blessed are you, and Blessed is your Kin-dom,
now and forever. Amen.
(adapted from: For All the Saints (Revised Ed.), Anglican Church of Canada)