Archbishop Rowan William’s sermon at an Anglican Communion gathering last week

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Deeply shocking - there it is in Holy Scripture: a God who can’t give us up. And when we talk about peace with God, we’re talking about how God spends Himself, and pours Himself out, in the most extreme way possible – in the suffering and death of our Lord; in the broken bread, the spilled wine of Holy Communion; pours himself out to make peace. The God who will hold back nothing to make peace, because he cannot imagine Himself as God without us. And so when we think of the peace that God has made with us in Jesus Christ, we should be sobered and shocked at its depth, at its force. That is what peace with God means; and the peace we are given with each other as Christians grows out of that.

And in that, there is the alarming hint that if God can’t give us up, we can’t give each other up - as Anglicans and Anglicans together, but as Christians and Christians together too. How very nice it would be if we could simply say: we’re giving up now on fellowship; that’s enough peace, that’s enough attempts to be together. And in those moments - which are frequent enough, God knows - we ought to hear God saying: But I’m God. I’m not you. You can give up on each other, but I can’t. And maybe with that before us, we can think of what it is that God goes on asking of us, in terms of making and keeping peace.

I’m not just talking about how we live through the deeply painful conflicts in our Communion, though that’s important enough. I’m talking about those attitudes to one another that shape our lives and our policies. That willingness to be spent for one another; that willingness to let others flourish and rejoice because of what we do; that willingness to be there for one another, whatever happens. And I believe that in our global Anglican family, in spite of all our tensions and divisions, we have learned a great deal more in recent decades about being there for one another, locally and internationally.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams

Posted July 20, 2012 at 6:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. dmitri wrote:

Wonderful Sermon.  Thanks for posting.

July 20, 9:33 am | [comment link]
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