The only access we have to Jesus is through the Christ who is the object of our faith — the Christ who lived and died and rose for us, who intercedes for us as our Great High Priest, and who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. It is alone through Jesus Christ that we have any knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth.
The call to realize our identity as a Christian university is a great challenge, but it is also liberating, because it means that we don’t need to compete with the publicly-funded, provincial universities. This is good news, because we simply do not have the economic, infrastructural, and even personal resources to do the public research university thing better than they do it. But ... in the person of Christ and in the powerful presence of the Spirit who leads God’s people into all truth, we do have the potential to become something that public, secular universities cannot be: a university in the true sense of the word, united in the uni veritas, the one or whole truth that holds together in the living Christ.
The irony for the officiant is that the only way to promote harmony among the various voices at prayer is to focus on their own. The role of the officiant is to pray through the chaos so the chaos can eventually find order through the prayers. The officiant must be attentive to all who are praying, but not at the expense of their own prayers.
It could be argued that if we had all gone home after voting on these affirmations, much of the pain that resulted from General Synod’s other decisions could have been avoided and we may have been the better for it. But as it happened, we proceeded to the debate and vote on the marriage canon amendment, the failure of which unleashed an avalanche of protest, accusation, and ill will that in many ways will form the lasting characterization of General Synod 2019 for many of those who were present.
To be sure, Springsteenism is an ambiguous religiosity. Springsteen, as Roops pronounces, “knows everything you’ve ever felt … and he can describe it better for you.” His music allows one to see the depth and profundity in ordinary life — to see even father-son conflict as “something as old as time,” as Manzoor says, and to respond with empathy. Springsteen himself is a role model of uncommon decency.
Sometimes a strange word in a Bible reading or a liturgical text may be a stumbling block to one “almost persuaded” (Acts 26:28). We discover new things in old texts, or hear words intended for building up used only to tear down. Just how much time do we have to explain in an age of shortened attention spans and sporadic Sunday attendance?
Among the various characterizations of Mary, I find myself repeatedly drawn to Mary as the Second Eve in parallel to St. Paul’s reference to Christ as the Second Adam (Rom 5:12, 15; I Cor 15:45, 47).
We prefer to think that evil is something “bad people” do, and that these bad people are easily recognizable. We see a mug shot on the news and say “Oh, he looks like a child molester, like a mass shooter, like a serial killer, like a bad person. Or as often as not today we think of evil as that perpetrated only by our political opposites. We describe such people as “inhuman” or “deplorable”, descriptors that gives us the relief of distance. The guise evil wears is, of course, always that of someone else.