Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rector's Rambling for 10/26/08

Today, according to the ancient calendar which we use at St. John’s, is known as Christ the King Sunday. Although the new liturgical calendar has moved this feast day to the end of the Ordinary season (the Sunday before Advent begins), we keep it here for its original reason. It is the alternative to a more protestant observance of reformation Sunday.
In Lutheran and other churches today they will be celebrating Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral on October 31st, 1517. These theses were his list of grievances with the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
This day is marked as a great festival by reformed churches, but I would hope it would be with a twinge of sadness as well. For this date could also be marked as the beginning of the great divide of the Western Church. From this initial division spanned multiple divisions in Europe, and then England, and even down to our day throughout the world.
Although their grievances had merit, we pause a minute to think about how division and separation go directly against our Lord’s high priestly prayer that we all be one as He and the Father are one! (John 17:21) Division hinders our witness as The Body of Christ.
As Anglican (Episcopalians) we are in a unique position as a Church which retained the catholic sacraments and apostolic authority of the ancient undivided Church, while correcting many of the abuses that the reformation sought to fix. We are a ‘bridge’ between Roman and Protestantism, and offer the opportunity to prayerfully work for reunion as our Lord desires.
So today, rather than dwelling on the division, let us focus on Jesus Christ as our King and Lord! Let us crown Him with many crowns, and acknowledge His Rule in our hearts and in our lives.
Focusing on Him, we can be reformed internally while adhering to the Unity of the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church that He desires for us.
May we all be one, as Jesus and the Father are one. And may we say with St. Thomas “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:21)