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Thy kingdom come…


I was asked recently to offer a brief homily at a gathering of Roman Catholic and Lutheran clergy in our area. The text provided for the occasion was 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. That seemed a bit strange to me. Why an Easter text for ecumenical celebration? Why not something out of Chapter 12…with all that great “one body” stuff?

Well…perhaps it was meant to be an encouragement for ecumenical work. “Your labor is not in vain,” Paul writes. Given the short shrift usually dealt to ecumenical efforts, that seemed like an appropriate encouragement to those who’ve taken this project seriously.

But more: Perhaps this text is valuable as a reminder that we are not yet what God will reveal us to be.

As tough as it may be to accept, the Church is not exempt from the dying part of God’s dying/rising paradigm for renewal. We may be called (as part of our engagement with one another) to let go. After all, our ecumenical work is not about mere merger of what we already possess so that everybody gets to recognize a bit of their own territory. Our work is to celebrate with each other and recognize within each other the building blocks of a new creation into which (in God’s time, of course) the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church will be subsumed.

When that day comes, it will be glorious…not just for the ecumenical movement, but for the whole church…for we will have, by God’s gracious Spirit, become what we are called to be: the embodiment of that divine and perichorectic love which has fueled the cosmos from the very beginning…dancing with each other at the dawn of the new day of God’s promise made complete.

Until then, we are to live with each other as those who sincerely anticipate the fulfillment of God’s creative and reconciling intent. We are called to set aside our arrogance about who we think we are and what we must preserve, and re-imagine through the lens of cross and tomb what our gifts and experiences and traditions bring to God’s project, thus investing our current veiled and feeble certainties in the one and only thing we can know for sure: Christ is risen. And we pray: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.

Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come.


One Comment leave one →
  1. pamela permalink
    30January2012 18:37

    Important remarks, Dave…. thank you! We don’t know what God is up to, but we know that in humility, compassion, and hospitality towards the “other” we can see Christ. Thank you for your thoughts! PTC

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