Saturday, October 09, 2010

Foley Beach and Robert Grosseteste

I'm in Atlanta for the consecration of Dr. Foley Beach to the holy episcopate. It's an exciting day for me because this is also the Feast of St. Robert Grosseteste. Grosseteste was an Oxford scholar and pastor before he was appointed bishop of Lincoln. After his episcopal consecration, he surprised his diocese by actually taking the lead in caring for the priests and parishioners under his care. He visited the rural deaneries (way out in the country) and taught the clergy at diocesan synods. Instead of simply making decrees from his episcopal seat and hoping they would be carried out, he visited parishes and told the clergy why certain decisions were made. He refused to admit men to livings (pastoral appointments with a certain income) if he knew they would be sub-letting their cure (paying a poor curate to perform their pastoral duties). That form of abuse was rampant in the medieval church, but Grosseteste even refused to admit a nephew of the pope to a living when he saw that the man was unfit.

Auspiciously, today the Anglican Church is again being given a bishop who is a faithful pastor, a stalwart defender of the faith, a capable teacher, and a true pastor to pastors in raising Foley Beach to the Sacred Order of Bishops. He is surrounded by people who can testify to his commitment to see people's lives changed for the sake of the Gospel. He maintains a full teaching / speaking role even while serving as rector of a growing church. And he has discipled so many young men in their role as presbyters in the Church of God. I couldn't be happier to be here. I couldn't be happier to be part of this movement.

Let all faithful Anglicans thank God for the example of Robert Grosseteste, and his spiritual heir, Foley Beach.

Holy God, our greatest treasure, you blessed Hugh and Robert, Bishops of Lincoln, with wise and cheerful boldness for the proclamation of your Word to rich and poor alike: Grant that all who minister in your Name may serve with diligence, discipline and humility, fearing nothing but the loss of you and drawing all to you through Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you in the communion of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Neo-Nazis Become Orthodox Jews

CNN is playing a documentary on a couple of Polish Neo-Nazis who discovered that they were actually Jews. Their families had hidden their ethnicity & religion during the Nazi era. Now, they have converted to Orthodox Judaism!

It's amazing what we forget about who we truly are. We were created in the image of God. Those who passed through the baptismal waters have had that image repristinated by being grafted into Christ.

What would happen if the Church - you and me and all the baptized - were to, like this couple, rediscover who we really are? Would it require a radical break with who we were? Would it require a reorientation of our priorities? Our daily life?

What would need to change for you?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Ten Cheers for Tyndale

Today is the commemoration of William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale, translators of the Holy Scriptures into English. Tyndale's New Testament served as the basis for the populace of England being converted to Justification by Grace through Faith. Coverdale, whose Psalm translation still deeply effects the BCP's psalms, came along and published an Old Testament / Apocrypha along with a slightly altered Tyndale NT. This Bible was the first to receive broad use in England and can still be read today.

Let us render hearty thanks to God for these two servants. And let us take up their cause by reading the Scriptures for ourselves in "a language understanded of the people" and applying it to our lives.

COLLECT: Almighty God, you planted in the heart of your servants William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and endowed them with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Below is an excellent video that gives an accessible visual rendering of the history of the English Bible.