As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
As I watched the grand procession of the bishops of the Episcopal church at the installation of +Curry as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church last Sunday, I couldn't help but think of my last two posts on clerical fancy dress and what Jesus might say if he were to add a comment to one of the numerous Facebook posts I saw on the service.
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.As the TEc elite fly to Washington to beat their drums and strut their stuff as an offering to God, I think about the poor conservative priests working in small, struggling parishes somewhere in post-industrial middle America. Their sacrifice is of far greater significance to God than all of the excesses of his or her superiors.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
After reading the text of Bishop Curry's sermon delivered at his installation, I can't help but put in my two cents' worth.
1st cent's worth: Over and over again Presiding Bishop Curry repeated, "Don't worry, be Happy," which is a reference to a hit song from 1988 by Bobby McFerrin. Wikipedia notes:
"The song's title is taken from a famous quotation by Meher Baba, The Indian mystic and sage Meher Baba (1894–1969) often used the expression 'Don't worry, be happy' when cabling his followers in the West. However, Baba also communicated variations of the sentiment; fuller versions of the quote – such as, 'Do your best. Then, don’t worry; be happy in My love. I will help you' — incorporate responsibility with detachment, as well as the master/disciple spiritual relationship."I for one won't fawn and fall until he stops the lawsuits against fellow Christians, until he disavows same-sex marriage and abortion, and until he sweeps 815 clean of all the flowing robed wolves who have been devouring the Church from within. Then and only then will I stop worrying and be happy.
2nd cent's worth: Over and over again he repeated. "And God is not finished with The Episcopal Church yet."
Since every progressive move of the Episcopal church over the past 40 years has been justified as "A movement of the Holy Spirit", and since those forty years have seen a disastrous decline in membership and regular Sunday worship, you have to wonder just what it is that God is doing, and whether or not He is finishing off the Episcopal church. Yes, God is not finished with the Episcopal church yet, and if the past is an indicator of the future, He won't be finished with it until the last parish church is shuttered and put up for sale.
TEc loyalists are fawning over +Curry, and I wonder what hold he has over them.
To me, it looks like the same policies in a new dress.