Today I am at a loss. A loss of hope, a loss of heritage, a loss of my breastplate, a loss for words. I didn't start the day off like this, but something happened during the course of the morning service at ECOOS to leave me with this hurt, empty feeling.
We started the service off with "St. Patrick's Breastplate or Lorica," Hymn 370, which got my heart pumping. Mind you, we did not sing the missing verses that Wallace Hartley posted back in March, but even the watered down version should have had everyone in a hopeful mood for "Trinity Sunday."
I recognized the warning signs of trouble when the rector began his sermon by explaining that he was going to go against 2000 years of thinking about how to talk about the Trinity. At least he is an out of the closet liberal. The ensuing sermon was too painful and confusing to recite, so I will present some personal impressions that are not direct quotations from the liberal diatribe our rector laid on me.
1. The doctrine of the Trinity was not explained. (Because we know that doctrines are bad and lead to narrow mindedness or worse.)
2. Christian thinkers, and those who have been called Christian over the centuries, have taken the Trinity as some sort of weapon into battle to subjugate other religions. (Never mind the notion that the Lorica of which we sang is a defense.)
3. The murderer of the abortionist is evidence of such misapplied fundamentalist theology. (I wonder what the abortionist was evidence of?)
4. Our great President Obama, in his Capitulation at Cairo speech, has shown that we should not speak openly of what we believe, this creedal Christianity, because we are the ones who kill.
4. History doesn't have much good to say about Christianity. (So why be one?)
5. Christians and muslims have killed in the name of God, and this needs to be pounded into my simple brain over and over.
6. I thought I was going to hear about the blessed Trinity today, and maybe learn something. Therefore, hope springs eternal just so it can be squashed.
7. I was left feeling like a Post-modernist Linus, but I will twist the cartoon character's words to read, "I love mankind, it's Christians I can't stand."
8. If today's sermon was intended to build up the body of Christ, it must have intended to do so by purging the the body of believers like me.
9. Days like this are necessary in order that I come up with new intercessory prayers.
Am I alone here? I watched in despair as a young Bible toting couple made a hasty departure after the sermon and before the Eucharist. Did they hear what I heard? Or did they have other business to attend to? Maybe they didn't read the sign, "Check your Bible at the door." If you see such a sign at your church, don't run away. Strap on your Lorica and go onward like a Christian soldier. You might get dashed, bashed, and bruised, but you will be protected from mortal wounds. Besides, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.
Dear St. Patrick, pray for me...
"Against the demon snares of sin,(the expurgated verses)
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart's idolatry,
against the wizard's evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning."