Thursday, April 09, 2009

Timely Words from Bishop Mark Lawrence

No matter how pressured we feel by the events around us, (and they are there to be sure—as individual priests and deacons, as a Church, as a diocese—within and without—and in each of our parishes); no matter how buffeted we have been by our calling—the weariness of our ministry; the hours of silent toil; those weeks when the Word seems silent; those Saturday nights when sermon work and study have yielded what seems like only a thin broth (we’ve all been there), and you plead with a seemingly cold heaven for a word to give to your people; when the faithful in your flock seem to have no patience with solid food and itchy ears for whatever is new; when you are heartsick from your own sin; parched and dry throated in your own personal spiritual desert—it is then you dare not forget that this ministry is given to you by the mercy of God. That is, your calling is not only rooted in the mercy of God, it has been given to you as God’s mercy—to you. And remember this: it is not only given to us who are ordained; it is the case for all who have been called into relationship with Jesus Christ—who have come to know his saving grace—the forgiveness of sins. We all have this ministry by the mercy of God. It is only the wonder of this mercy that can sustain us when we are tempted to neglect our duty, or grow weary in our work.

Certainly if you are an academic you can preach powerfully with an academic bent. If you are a poet you can preach with a poetic grace. God will honor what he has made. But you cannot seek to create a favorable opinion of yourself and at the same time preach the gospel. To be truthful with God’s word is to let the truth of Jesus Christ—his cross, his resurrection, his Lordship—take center stage. You see, we each face a decision. We can put ourselves on the center stage of our ministry and we will bring people to ourselves, perhaps for a season; or we can put Jesus Christ on the center stage of ministry and bring people to him for all eternity. But we cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive. We know well enough self will feed neither ourselves nor those we are called to serve.

Read it all at


Anonymous said...

Nothing like CATHOLIC REFORMED! That means you even leave the Catholic church, en start yours!
If you had accepted to be a catholic, why then start the issues of Catholic Reformed! TO HELL!

Jeremy Bonner said...

Dear Anonymous,

Many have questioned the coherence of the Anglican compromise, but it has produced some godly men and women down the centuries - including the new Archbishop of Kenya - who recognize that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church embraces elements of both the catholic and reformed traditions.

You are, of course, free to disagree, but this website exists primarily as a source of historical information. There are other sites where you might more profitably denounce the perceived failings of the Anglican Communion.