Saturday, April 07, 2007

When I first learned about the Rainbow Presence demonstration planned for Easter Sunday, I immediately decided to support it. I bought a rainbow ribbon for the cross I wear with my choir robe, and I bought extra ribbon for any others who might want to join in this peaceful demonstration. Nobody that I mentioned it to knew about it, but most thought it was a good idea and wanted a rainbow ribbon to wear. A couple of people were opposed, even hostile, and their attitude stung. I can only imagine how that hostility hurts my homosexual friends and family members who have been courageous enough to be honest about their sexual orientation. It made me more determined to champion full inclusion in the larger Episcopal Church.

I don't want to stir up trouble, but I've never been one to shy away from controversial issues. St. Philip's has been so welcoming and inclusive of all, whether that is due to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, or a well-thought-out policy put in place after years of heated debate, I simply don't know the history. I do know we have the reputation of being the most liberal parish in the Jackson area. Due to the positive responses I received, I concluded that full inclusion has been a matter of prayerful concern for many people. Maybe it's time for those of us who support the progressive direction being forged to stand up publicly and let it be known. I hope it helps those who are opposed to rethink their positions.

Following the Good Friday service, several St. Philip's people met at Fat Tuesday's for lunch. I enjoy it, as it usually brightens the somber mood we're all in following that service. I get impatient with the heavy, dark atmosphere that permeates our observance of Christ's crucifixion and the events leading up to it. Knowing how the story ends, I'm eager to get to the Resurrection; I want to just skip over the solemnity that leads to Easter, and get to the happy part. Maybe it's the Baptist in me. Can't we just condense this into a 90 minute dramatic musical and be done with it?

Art: Lamentation of Christ by Sanders Hemmeson

Then I remember that Jesus suffered much worse than we do in our long, drawn out remembrances of his suffering. The very least I can do is walk the "way of the cross." Stretched out over the entire Holy Week, it's certainly not asking too much. (Music: Lead me to Calvary)

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.


Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.


Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.


May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.


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