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Thursday, November 03, 2005


Blessed Richard Hooker, Speak to Us 

I am reminded that one year ago today, I was preaching on the Feast day of Blessed Richard Hooker in the chapel at St. Thomas, Medina, WA, while I was on my plunge. It seems so long ago now. Hooker is a man whom I wish would come back and help us out a bit in our current struggles to remain together in the Anglican Communion. What would he have to say about us? The majority of the fight of his day was over styles of worship; those of the reformed tradition saw ceremonial as an unnecessary impediment to worship and those of the more catholic position argued that ceremonial aided our worship by giving us something beautiful to offer to God. That controversy, while still important today, seems to have little to do with the fight over human sexuality and the authority of scripture. But, I can't imagine that Hooker's ideas of via media don't have anything to say to us. I just don't know what it might be. The via media was a way to keep the best parts of both the reform and catholic traditions as one, rather than fighting and losing what was excellent about each. So, might via media be able to say to us today, "From the more liberal minded Christians, take a sense of radical inclusion, which is the message of Christ. From the more conservative minded Christians, take the strong sense of the authority of scripture as it is written, which has the power to unify, not divide." Maybe. Maybe it would have something else to say. In doing some thinking on this the other day, I came up with a maxim that is helpful for me: in the practice of our Christian faith, we, the members, must conform our lives, beliefs, and actions to Christ and to the Church as Christ's body in the world, not try to force Christ and the Church to conform to our wants and desires. Even the parts we don't like.

A friend of mine, Micah Jackson, has started a cool project called Communion of the Saints. He is posting a podcast (audio) of short meditations on the saints as they appear in our Calendar of Lesser Feasts and Fasts. Richard Hooker is the inaugural podcast, so go check it out at St. Jerome's Chapel, and consider for yourself Hooker's ideas as you listen.

-R

[Later: As if on cue, I just read that the Archbishop of Canterbury met with the Bishop of New Hampshire this morning. Read about it, albeit briefly, here.]

1 Comments:

Thanks, Ryan! Glad you're enjoying Communion of Saints! I actually began the project on All Saints, so there are also podcasts for that day, and for All Faithful Departed. Don't miss those, either.

By Anonymous Micah, at 7:52 AM  


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