Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Considering the Lilies

So, with Matthew 6:24-34 coming up on Sunday, I've been considering the lilies of the field. I loved this collect that was part of our Noonday Eucharist today:
Most Loving God, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you who care for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds from this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested to us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

And then there was the reading from Isaiah:

Thus says our God: “At the time of my favor I will answer you, on the day of salvation I will help you. I will keep you, and appoint you to be a covenant people. I will restore the land and assign you the properties that have lain waste. I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’ and to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves!’ ...

How timely is that? What a great text for the week that marriage equality is being celebrated in California. What Good News for those whose relationships have been imprisoned by discrimination and are now being liberated by a court ruling that puts an end to "separate but unequal" for California couples!

What a great opportunity to "come out" of the darkness of "separate but unequal" and to "show themselves" -- to claim the blessing of the legal protections of civil marriage.
I already have a list of seven couples at All Saints Church who are lining up to claim that blessing -- to make those vows -- to enter into marriage, which our Prayer Book describes as "a physical and spiritual union, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with intent that it be lifelong."
Some of those couples have been together for decades ... one, I know, for 28 years. And now -- finally -- they are on the cusp of being able to secure for each other and for their children the same civil rights and legal protections as opposite-gender couples. "At the time of my favor I will answer you" indeed!
To be perfectly honest, marriage equality wasn't on my "to do" list this week. I thought I had my hands full with the end of the program year here at All Saints Church & the Lambeth Conference coming up in July. But at 10:o2 a.m. on May 15th I downloaded the California Supreme Court ruling -- and there it was!
And here we are. And yes, there is work ahead of us. There is a proposition pending for the November ballot intended to reverse the May 15th ruling -- to write discrimination into the California constitution. And we will be hard at work moblizing to defeat it if it qualifies for the ballot (which it looks like it will.)
But for today ... at this very moment ... I'm taking the advice of our former Senior Warden ... (a member of one of those in-the-queue-to-get-married-couples) who reminded us on Sunday to take some time to stop and smell the flowers. To pause and celebrate and to rejoice for just a wee bit before we shift into our typical "Type A Mode" and gear up.
So Sunday's Gospel is for him ... and for all the others who remind us to not just consider the lilies but to stop long enough to smell them ... to rejoice in them ... to give thanks for them.
This IS the day that the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sweetheart, darling, my dearest friend, Susan - I don't know how to tell you this - but, I don't think those are lilies.

A+ on the meditation.

Not so much on your horticultural skills.


Sweetheart, darling, my dearest friend, Elizabeth ... when did you become a biblical literalist?

They're FLOWERS, aren't they??? (See also: spirit-rather-than-letter ... :)