WILD WINDOWS AND THE CHURCH
This is such a simple point. It is one I cannot actually prove, but then I don’t think I have to prove it. You see, I think every single one of us knows in our hearts that it is true. In fact, I think even the grandest priest or prelate, even the sternest of church lawyers knows in his or her heart that this is true. I need to repeat it. That this is true. That this is true.
Then why doesn’t…?
A long time ago a great honour was done to me. I will not say where it was, because I would hate to get anyone into trouble, but that honour was done, and I have never forgotten.
Firstly let me tell you what my religion is. Well, whenever I am asked what my religion is, this is what I reply: ‘In this incarnation I am an Anglican’.
Many years ago some members of our family, who are Roman Catholic, were having their daughter christened. My wife and I, and our then young children, attended. It was a lovely church, and I remember the little baby girl seeming to be radiant with light. I also remember the Roman Catholic priest who was to conduct the ceremony and officiate at the accompanying Mass. A lovely spiritual man. I spoke to him before the service and told him that we were Anglicans. He merely smiled and said he would be delighted if we took Mass. Then, just before the service began, he did me that great honour. He asked me to collect the wine from the back of the church, and to process up the nave to deliver it to him. I did that in due reverence, and I and my wife took Mass and so shared in that little girl’s christening.
Yet that priest had broken his church’s laws. That priest could have been condemned. Other priests have been so condemned, for church law states that only full members of the Church of Rome may take Mass. Only full members.
Yet we all know in our hearts that the following is true. Every priest knows. Every Pope who has ever walked this earth knows:
That if the man behind the altar rail, if the man holding the cup up for us communicants to come forward, if that man who is to administer the wine, was the Master himself, then no questions would be asked of which church we belonged to. No questions would be asked as to whether we had fasted that day or prayed that day or taken confession that day. Absolutely nothing would be asked. Not even if we were Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or Atheist or…We had come to receive the wine.
What else would the Master want to know?
Our world is suffocating under a multitude of Gordian knots. Wars erupt and people die and no one cuts the Gordian knot that could have saved them. Our religions too.
Church law says this and church law says that, and no one cuts the Gordian knot that would release us. The lawyers and the prelates and the blinkered priests reserve the Mass for their own. But the Master would not. Everyone was the Master’s. Everyone: Jews, Gentiles, Samaritans, as well as his followers. EVERYONE!
That gentle priest who so honoured me lived the risen Christ. Those prelates and lawyers who would condemn him, regardless of the love they feel for Him, regardless of their goodness, deny the risen Christ.
For two thousand years the cock has crowed every morning, and still they deny him.