Wednesday, December 5, 2007

1 Preamble

(Psalm 127.1-2, Ezekiel 37.1-14, Mark 1.1, John 10.10; Romans 5.1-5, Ephesians 4:1-16, Revelation 2-3)

These are the verses for the preamble to the text of An Anglican Covenant. I am not sure I want to start this process because I have a covenant and it's not with the Anglican Church but with the Most High. At least so I think - and so is confirmed in my thinking as I ponder my way through the psalms and observe how the experience of someone 2500-3000 years ago parallels mine as a child of humus exactly. The psalmist may not have known what I know of mathematics, or science, or history, or even the Son of God, but s/he knew what I know with respect to internal and external enemies and the perplexity of promise, mercy, loving kindness, testimony, instruction, blessing, judgment, word, and presence of God - not to mention the cost of grace and growing in the same.

If you are interested you can read the draft text as I blog on each section. The first section is so short I will quote it - but not so for the others.

We, the Churches of the Anglican Communion, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, solemnly covenant together in these articles, in order to proclaim more effectively in our different contexts the Grace of God revealed in the Gospel, to offer God’s love in responding to the needs of the world, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and to grow up together as a worldwide Communion to the full stature of Christ.

- what I will blog is the way I perceive the cited verses of Scripture in relationship to the walk in faith that I know. We begin with a psalm - 127 (assuming traditional numbering for Anglicans).

The psalm is suitable - a meditation on emptiness without the Lord doing the building. The word is Shv) like the shewa vowel of the Hebrew annotations - not exactly nothing, but a grunt between letters, a nothing vowel. We are reminded also of the Dickensian character Mr. Quiverful - but we will also remember the blessing of the barren woman who has more children than the wedded wife (Isaiah 54:1, Galatians 4:27) so as not to confuse fertility with alternative blessings. So whatever Anglicanism is, we invoke a warning of emptiness first.

Ezekiel 37 - if it ain't those dry bones! Here from the Prophets we have the intimation of the Spirit. We invoke the whole crescendo of the Spirit from the TNK-NT.

Mark 1:1 - It surprises me that some references are to one verse (in this case the beginning) and others are to whole chapters!

John 10:10 - nice - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life and have it to the full. I guess we will have to surmise why this is part of a preamble and who, pray tell, is the thief?

Romans 5:1-5 - a hope that is not deceptive, continuing the thread of Spirit.

Ephesians 4:1-16: Unity of the Spirit (as noted in the preamble paragraph above), citing Psalm 68 on gifts, and the body building itself up in love. Altogether a suitable passage for a preamble.

Revelation 2-3: the seven letters to the churches. The Spirit is in evidence here too. Can we hear what the Spirit is saying?

The Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. If I add this 2 Corinthians 3:17, I summarize the 7 references in one. Do I imagine that this writing is starting on a positive note? I would be happier if it did not include the word covenant. A human or inter-church covenant must not get in the way of the necessary engagement with the Most High.

Whose writing is this preamble?

1 comment:

Doug Chaplin said...

I recommend looking at the Irish response to this covenant (PDF file), which considers it needs a complete redraft