Generous Orthodoxy  

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Credit where credit is due

Speaking as one who has been quite critical of the Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori (see "The PB Has a Dream," in Ruminations) I think it is important to call favorable attention to her Christmas message, especially this part:

The long arc of biblical thinking...has to do with seeing God's care for those who have no other helper. Indeed, Jesus is understood as that helper for all who fail, by the world's terms, to save themselves. More accurately, we understand that Jesus is that helper for all.

She notes that Christmas is a time when people tend to make an extra effort to reach out to those in need, and concludes:

The challenge is to let our seasonal "seeing" transform the way we meet our neighbors through the rest of the year, and through all the coming years.

That is a good message, and one that we might all do well to reflect upon.

I would just observe that the missing ingredient in all her messages is a closer emphasis on the Biblical "arc" [a word borrowed, I think, from Dr. King] that depicts all human beings in desperate need of God's salvation--in other words, a sense of common sinfulness that transcends all categories of needy-munificent, blinded-enlightened, bound-liberated. I wish that the bien-pensant among us in the Episcopal Church would be a little less smug, a little less hortatory.