Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Something old, something new

This week's news was again about celebrating a wedding, about bringing something old and something new. I mean, very new. Yes, this morning, Slate published an article on the first gay wedding on a US military base.

Here, we have an old institution, a bedrock of American society, standing firm since the very beginning of this country. Yet, it didn't know who its people truly were, what they wanted deep inside, and what it took to keep them firm in their commitments, faithfulness, truthfulness, honor.

But it became apparent through the years, that many were not being truthful or living in honesty. An institution grows decrepit when populated by such folks, and people grow to distrust the institution. So, this mainstay of American wanted to confirm its relevance and authority, not by redefining itself but by affirming what it truly envisioned itself to be. And it wanted to a beacon of justice, when its past had too many examples of otherwise.

Yes, the article was about the US military. I, though, am talking about the Episcopal Church.
When we ask people to commit themselves 100% to their mission, their passion, their love, we cannot treat them like second class citizens. We cannot say that their baptism was a mistake, because God already made holy their incorporation into the body of the church. They are our kin, even if we're just not that into them.

It pains me when I see the way these soldiers were ostracized by their churches. Yet God's expansive love found a way to them, and they are together in the eyes of the army and in the eyes of God. Just as we are commanded to feed the hungry, so must we nourish the souls of those who seek out the divine.

If the US army -- conservative, assured, protective, firm -- can meet the needs of its people, other institutions that we trust should as well. My church has taken continued its many new steps in this direction, and for that I am humbled and grateful. I pray that we continue to recognize all who work towards justice and bring the God's kingdom to all who desire.

-- Mel

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