Sunday, July 25, 2010
St. Andrews by the Sea
Today I had the pleasure of speaking at St. Andrews by the Sea to help them kick off their Episcopal Charities Fund campaign. I was invited by my former Rector, Bob Brooks, to talk about CareNet Pregnancy Center of RI.
And I will admit, I was more nervous about it than I have been for any other speaking engagement. It was my first time speaking at an Episcopal Church. Since the Episcopal Church tends to be socially liberal, members are just as likely to be pro-choice as pro-life. I understood that I really needed to try and find common ground, while at the same time challenging people, gently, to at least reconsider their position on the issue.
The scripture readings were a true gift from God, as they made an excellent jumping off point.
First, we heard about Abraham's negotiations with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of a few righteous men. Then, in the gospel reading, Jesus teaches us how to pray the Lord's prayer... and goes on to encourage us to be persistent in our prayer. But he also says that we should have faith that when we pray, God will give us all that we ask for. He asks if we, who are evil, are smart enough to give our children a fish instead of a snake, or an egg instead of scorpion, how much more likely is it that God, who is Holy, will give us only good things?
Which made me realize that when we pray and don't get what we think we wanted, Jesus is assuring us that what we get is, indeed, an egg, not a scorpion. We, sadly, just don't see it sometimes.
As we read the Luke version of the Lord's prayer, it struck me that Jesus might be telling us that the Kingdom is already come. We just can't see it. As Christians, we have to have more faith that the kingdom is all around us though... especially since Jesus expressly tells us so in the gospels. And it strikes me that Christians who are pro-choice may need to strengthen their faith muscles. Why do they think that the world's solution, (death) is really the only option when a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy? And do they really think that God would give these women snakes when they asked for fishes?
After being involved with CareNet for several years now, I can tell you, without a doubt, that there comes a point when these young women finally see their babies for what they are. Not scorpions. Not snakes. But the greatest gifts they will ever receive.