Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who is worthy to receive? - The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe carried an article about a custom that is sweeping through the Episcopal Church these days: Open Communion.
There was a time when we tended to be a fairly exclusive church and we used to say that those who were welcome in their own communion were welcome at ours.
Then we opened things up to say that "all Baptized Christians were welcome at the Altar rail."
Things are so different now. We tend to say now that "Everyone is welcome to receive communion in this church."
Since it is our sense that Jesus did not check membership cards to any earthly organization at the Last Supper, likewise we shouldn't either.
Jesus tended to stay at the margins welcoming rich and poor alike, common fisherfolk, tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers the lame and the halt and the blind.
These folks were often not welcome in the Temple. After all, their offerings were without blemish. For Jesus blemishes and imperfections were hardly a barrier to entry into the kingdom.
To Jesus there was a special place in God's heart for those who manifested all kinds of imperfections.
The Globe says something about "liberal" dioceses opening communion up to members and non members alike, Christians and non-Christians as well. True enough. But I would hardly call the "liberal". To me this policy is simply the next logical step in obedience to Jesus' command to "Love God and love one another!"
Godspeed to ALL
Fr. Paul

Who is worthy to receive? - The Boston Globe

Posted using ShareThis


Mike said...

Fr. Paul,

It's always a joy to read your blogs, to understand your words and to know your compassion for ALL is truly genuine, and always has been.

As an acolyte at Christ Church, I recall a sermon you gave where you spoke of Idi Amin, the "Butcher of Uganda." Inside, I was sickened that humans should suffer so. Sickened even more so at the thought that a human could inflict such suffering on another.

Your words were strong about the horrible things this man had done, and even stronger when you ended the sermon saying how much it hurt you to stand before us and lead us in asking God to forgive us ALL for our sins....Inclusive then and inclusive now, in all respects.

Thank you Fr. Paul.


John Piko said...

Hi Father Paul, I'm doing well. Be in church tomorrow. How are you?