Friday, September 3, 2010

Together at Last! The Gospel according to St. Mark and Annie!

Dearly Beloved,

Our Holy Reverend Bishop Hanson has recently graced us with his presence!  In a recording from August 14, a mere two weeks ago, he graciously gathered a group of young people from around the country to listen – because that is what Bishop Hanson does best! – and determine how best to serve the needs of our young adults throughout the Lutheran world. 

Watch this clip!  It is a joy and I expect you will be filled with the delights of spiritual fulfillment! 

A young man here asks the imperative question that we here at Higgins bandy about, seeking spiritual answers:

Why Lutheran?
And if Lutheran, why then the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?

And how our Reverend Bishop ably resolved such a difficult question!  We are Lutheran not because we believe anything particular related to scripture or faith, but because we relentlessly define ourselves in how we are related to one another!  How we find concord together!  That is, after all, what the Book of Concord is all about!  We have deep hungerings of the heart and longings for life and they are indeed woven into the rich, bright, and multi-layered tapestry of spiritual expression!  Bishop Hanson remarked how our hungering and longings are signs of spiritual desire for a gracious God.  A Divine Being that is willing to say, “I Love You!” and “You’re Okay with Me!”

Naturally in order to achieve such spiritual delight, we must seek spiritual intimacy in relationships of all sorts.  His Holiness, Mark Hanson is correct: to be Lutheran is to understand the Divine is making me Divine in a Divine community!  So long as I am understood and loved in a way that I feel good and can face the world, I can live with ambiguity and uncertainty about the nature of Divinity.

The Good News is finally a matter of Uncertainty!  I am always uncomfortable when Lutherans or others here and there seem to think they know what God thinks and wants – especially when it comes to Jesus.  There seems to be so much “clarity” in all those theological “discussions.”  And what does that yield?  Anger.  Frustration.  Misunderstandings.  None of those things make a healthy, long-lasting and loving communal body of joyful, loving, accepted people!  Like Bishop Hanson, I trust that the Divine Being will be faithful to me and others no matter what we do, so long as we are in a loving community together.  We need to love each other and really mean it! 

The best picture of this Holy Divine Gospel I’ve seen is from Little Orphan Annie said to Daddy Warbucks.  They sing “Together at Last! Together forever!”  They compare their many uncertainties about relationships and resources, but at the end of the day, they sure are happy!  That is exactly what the Divine wants for us: uncertainty and loads of happiness and unfettered love! 

Hear this song and let Divine Love wash over you today:

Butterfly Kisses from Heaven,
Bishop Barbie

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