Polity & Structure
House of Deputies
House of Bishops
Provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion
Data & Analysis
Reports & Events
Tools & Services
News flashes, Announcements
software for writers
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone: 973-395-1068 h
Married February 2, 1974
Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book . Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:
A series of essays in the Episcopal Church
St. Mary of the Harbor Episcopal Church
The Reverend Terry R. Pannell†††††††† †††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† August 31, 2008
Texts: †Exodus 3: 1-15††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† Pentecost 16 A
††††††††††† Matthew 16: 21-28†††††††††† †††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††
A Liberation of Love
It was quite a spectacle, a moment of high drama where the past and the present came together in order to forge the future.† Hope filled words were spoken and promises were made.† The pyrotechnics were spectacular.† And no, I am not talking about Barack Obamaís acceptance speech.† Unlike Thursday nightís fireworks display at Denverís Mile High Stadium, the fireworks atop Mount Sinai did not fade or fizzle on that fateful day when a shepherd encountered the presence of Almighty God.† The book of Exodus described the moment as a fire that did not consume.
Moses was living in a foreign land when he found himself standing on holy ground.† Taken into the household of Pharaoh and raised among privilege and power, he had killed an Egyptian slave master who was abusing a Hebrew.† Shortly afterwards he fled Egypt and went into hiding among the people of Midian. †But then something happened.† He turned aside from the safety and security of the life he had created for himself to gaze upon a distant light.† And from that moment on everything changed.
As a member of the royal household, Moses had passed as an Egyptian.† Shepherding his father-in-law flocks on the east bank of the Gulf of Aqabah he had passed as a Midianite.† But on the holy mountain Moses came face to face with the truth that he could no longer pass as someone he wasnít.† In Godís presence he discovered that deep within him beat the heart of a Hebrew. ††
Venturing onto holy ground is to discover your true identity.† Even for the faintest of hearts it is a transformative experience.† However, like Moses many of us tend to tread rather lightly not so much because we are afraid to look upon the face of God but because we are afraid of the personal costs involved with being so close to the Almighty that we are on a first name basis. †That though is where life takes on new meaning and the world begins to change one heart at a time.†
You see, before the Hebrew slaves could be freed Moses had to be liberated from his own fear of returning to Egypt and facing Pharaoh as a Hebrew. †When Moses said to God who am I to command Pharaoh to free Godís people, he was not being humble.† He was letting God know that he was afraid.† And God understood.† That is why God reassured Moses that he would not have to make the journey down to Egypt alone.†
In a world where fear continues to do its best to enslave, Godís reassurance liberates us to live as free people even in the face of continued abuse.† Recently the new rector of St. Johnís Episcopal Church in College Park, Georgia showed up for work on Sunday morning and found a sign nailed to the front door of the church.†
In hand scrawled letters it said, homosexual priest in the pulpit of this church is an abomination before God! †Four years ago when I was still living in Louisiana a similar thing happened at one of the churches I was serving except the message was delivered loudly and in person just as Sunday services were beginning.† Apparently things in Egypt havenít changed much.†
They will though.† They will because once the fire of Godís love has been ignited within the human heart it cannot be extinguished. †Just ask anyone who is on a first name basis with the Almighty.†† They are the people whose love is genuine.† They are the ones who extend hospitality to strangers and are not afraid to associate with the forgotten and shunned of this world.† They are the ones who know that the only way to overcome evil is with good.†
Open your eyes to what is happening.† There is a great movement sweeping the world.† You are called to become a part of the liberation of love, if only you are willing to step onto holy ground.† †Be not afraid.† Set your hearts and minds on God and then get out of the way and let Godís love shine through you. †Find the cross that has your name on it and stop worrying about your life. †Death made its last stand 2000 years ago and lost. †Do not be afraid of the evil you find in Egypt. †Instead, challenge it by doing all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
Note:† The last sentence is a paraphrase of an admonition attributed to John Wesley.
This site has been accessed times since February 14, 1996.
Statistics courtesy of WebCounter.