Friday, February 17, 2012

Hope, Holy Patience, and Stanley Hauerwas:
reflections from the first day of council

I will likely write more about Council after Council because I won't be occupied in the life and business of Council.  (Sounds fair.)  That said, I do want to at least modestly attempt to mark the trail along the way.  I hope these notes and links can be a point of engagement for those of us here and those of us back home and elsewhere.

The 2012 Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas got off to a flying start today with the return of the (only somewhat) fictional Mrs. Barrington and, later, the Council Eucharist, highlighted by the Rt Rev Andy Doyle's straightforward and encouraging word, fueled by a passion for the Gospel of Jesus.  Along the way, we welcomed guests, found old friends, and made new ones.  A particular highlight for me was Bishop Reed's Bible study on the nature of the Christian hope, with its beginning in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

How does the resurrection of Jesus bring present (and not just future) hope?  This question kept bringing my own thoughts to holy patience - the gift of being able to wait without desperation, terror or fear.  Holy patience of this kind is a gift of Christ's resurrection - part and parcel of victory over death.  This connects in my mind to a piece from Stanley Hauerwas about becoming friends of time.  It is remarkable that in the simplicity of things like patience and presence the reality of the Lord's resurrection (and so the fullness of our hope) can be reflected.

As Hauerwas says elsewhere, Christians have been given all the time in the world to be God's people.


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