Occupied with the events of Holy Week, here at Preludium there has been little to say. Anglicanland - in the regular paid up Anglican Communion and in the dispersed world of Anglicans in the "out-there" of extra provincial Anglicanism, attention has rightly been focused on the days memorialized in the annual observance of Holy Week and Easter.
Not surprisingly we Anglicans are more joined in a common desire to express our faith and feelings regarding the death by execution of Jesus and the Resurrection, the message of which is many formed and folded. We are united, mostly. So here are some tidbits of really fine stuff from various places in Anglicanland, with comments and of course a short dip into the not-so-focused world of angry people saying angry things.
The Presiding Bishop's Easter Message is a fine reminder,
"The gift of Easter insists that human beings are capable of divine relationship, for as Athanasius put it, "God became human that human beings might become divine." The life, death, passion, and resurrection of Jesus are the cosmic insistence that nothing can separate us from the divine passion for humanity. Easter people are imprinted with the assurance that God is always working some new grace of creation out of death and destruction.
For most of us the dying is not cosmic. It may start with a small willingness to set aside self, or a new opportunity for grafting onto a greater whole. Or it may involve lowering the barriers between self and other to become more readily aware of our fundamental oneness, our common heritage as offspring of the Holy One. If we are to be followers of Jesus, we share the work he did on our behalf. We give thanks for the Resurrection, and we become part of Jesus’ ongoing work, as we become aware of its power in our own lives."
The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (not to be confused with the Anglican Communion Churches in North America - The Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church and La Eglesia Anglicana de Mexico) also issued an Easter Message, with a remarkably similar thought,
"We who gather here for worship on this Easter near the beginning of the 21st century face a world of competing ideologies and pagan savageries. The choice remains one of whether night will follow day, or day will follow night. Every individual must choose and every people must decide. (If there are any here who haven’t yet chosen, it is not too late. Step from the gathering darkness of your night into blazing light of Jesus’ day.) Jesus presents the choice. His cross and empty tomb present a doorway into a very different future, the difference (and the doorway) between night and day. Our call is to live in the day, both by deed and by word. Our call is to the transformation of the world with the love and light of Jesus. We can help one another to live abundantly in the day, and we can help others to choose Jesus and the new day He offers. It is a matter of life and death, of day and night. We here know the tomb is empty. We know what is possible in Jesus. In thanksgiving for what Jesus has done for us, let us be agents of the same Easter choice for others. We know that day does follow night for those who make the Easter choice."
We wish somehow the bulldog of Anglican ex-pats anger could be reigned in. Here is what David Anderson had to say in his Holy Week missive.
"As I write this, I am packing my bags for an Easter afternoon flight to a meeting of orthodox Anglican primates in Nairobi. The good work of cooperation between many orthodox Anglican provinces that gave birth to the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem in 2008 is continuing, with plans to be made for ways that the majority of the Anglican Communion can work together for the good of the Kingdom.
Although the GAFCON provinces are united in their orthodoxy and firm in rejecting the deviations from faith of the more western provinces, they struggle with large financial needs, and the American Episcopal Church is ever-present with a bag of coins to sow division between churches, dioceses, clergy and bishops. Still, if the saints in the African provinces can stand up to the murder and burnings that Muslim rioters bring in the name of their Allah, I am certain that the saints can withstand the wolves in sheep's clothing bringing bags of money from North America."
Perhaps Anderson was having a bad day, or perhaps he is just angry. At any rate, Holy Week and someone had to make a snotty shot at the Episcopal Church, just to keep the momentum of anger up.
Now look at the remarkable line of reasoning that Anderson is going to take to the meeting of "Orthodox Anglican Primates" of the GAFCON stripe. (i) "The Episcopal Church is ever-present with a bag of coins to sow division between churches, dioceses, clergy and bishops." (ii) The people of the African Provinces can stand up to murder and burnings from Muslim rioters, "so they can withstand the wolves in sheep's clothing bringing bags of money form North America."
Perhaps David Anderson would like to be specific: who is giving money to sow division? How much? Who are the wolves in sheep's clothing? Are they requiring that people in Africa join the Episcopal Church of the Anglican Church of Canada in their decisions on various matters?
No, this is just flim-flam in order to make the impression that like that great coin gatherer of Holy Week, the Episcopal Church is a betrayer. In Holy Week coins and division and wolves and such call up a little too much Judas.
Anderson is carrying on the charge of the American Anglican Council, to be an organization of people in the non-Provincial Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the Episcopal Church both, encouraging people in The Episcopal Church to head out the door to the new land of ACNA. The doorway is very different from the Archbishop's door into the light. It is a doorway leading out of one church and into another. But the light of which the Archbishop speaks and the grace of which the Presiding Bishop speaks is quite different. None the less the attack dog will nip at the occasional ankle and someone will jump thinking that the light that enlightens everyone is somehow better seen in ACNA than in The Episcopal Church.
That, of course, is profoundly stupid. With all the words and all the thinking and all the praying and even all the "Christ is Risen" shouts, it takes grace to see grace, light from the One to enlighten each one, peace in our hearts to greet the One who brings peace. Holy Week is not the time to snarl.
At better moments ACNA and its Archbishop are about being church, just as is the Presiding Bishop and TEC, and for that matter the Church of England and it's uber Archbishop, Rowan Williams. He published an Easter Sermon that is worth the read, HERE. One of the interesting things he says in this very good sermon is this:
" Perhaps part of the message of Easter is very simply, Be ready to be surprised; try clearing out some of the anxiety and vanity and resentment so as to allow the possibility of a new world to find room in you.
But this means in turn that rather than battling all the time to lay hold of a happiness that we have planned according to our fantasies, we should concentrate on challenging the things that make us anxious. "
There are come fine bits and pieces of video recommendations, from all sorts of sources, proving I suppose that the Resurrection is known first to poor lonely fools like you and like me....
Here are some.
Hat tip to Stand Firm (the place I love to hate!)
A great video using the music O Happy Day.... by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, whose rendition I remember from Canterbury House days, in the early 70's. Loved it then, love it now. The overlay of Secretariat footage is a bit of a stretch, but I though Sarah Hay's commentary was great. It is HERE.
Here is the video:
During Lent and leading up to Easter we have been using as an Offertory a song taught to us by Ana Hernandez when she was with us earlier in the year. Here is her teaching at a conference in Chicago. It is a lovely tune and a preparation for the Resurrection unlike any sermon I have heard.
And then, because the Internet takes us to new places even on Easter Monday, the next place after "Open My Heart..." was this wonderful song, Peace Perfect Peace...
Here in Anglicanland, in the Easter Season, and forward, what need is Peace in this community.