July 26, 2018
At present I’m reading an historical account regarding the “true story” behind the miracle at Dunkirk. From what I can glean from the texts and orders quoted, the memories recorded, and the diaries reopened, it seems that what I was taught in history class wasn’t even close to the truth about the debacle that marked one of the opening events of WWII. There are no possible or logical reasons to explain how the British (and other Allied) forces were rescued off the French beaches from utter annihilation by the unstoppable Nazi divisions. There were acts of sheer courage, incredible stupidity, dumb luck, careful planning, weather interference, grace under fire and human hubris all rolled into one lost battle that saved hundreds of thousands of lives – in spite of being soundly beaten at that moment.
So when I look at the condition of the Jesus Movement today – in our secular and hostile USA “culture,” when I see churches closing, or in financial peril, or with inner circles of “entitled” still clinging to the illusion of power in too many parish communities; when one witnesses inter- and intra-communal antagonism, lukewarm (at best) commitment on the part of a growing numbers of “members” who seem to want (when it is convenient for them) some kind of warm fuzzy religious feeling but without commitment, one could throw up one’s hands and simply ask the last person to turn off the lights when they lock down the building. It seems that what happens in “life” can happen at church: “acts of sheer courage, incredible stupidity, dumb luck, careful planning, weather interference, grace under fire and human hubris!”
Or we can remember that with God, all things are possible! Whenever I see nothing but darkness, I believe that there is a dawn just beyond my field of vision. I am convinced that the Lord never stops calling ordinary disciples who can make such a difference in other believers’ lives. Like yesteryear’s war heroes who were simply ordinary folks who stepped up when needed. So I uphold our Episcopal Church and believe this “bridge church” can and will touch lives and raise minds and hearts to God. I also believe that the Lord will continue to call “ordinary believers” to step up and provide the leadership and the “grace under fire” that the Christian movement needs today. After all, we have seen the impossible happen. Who am I to declare that a religion-less culture is our inevitable destiny?