03 June 2010

Living Waters

Peace be with you all, as you begin the patient journey towards your 219th General Assembly, and hopefully also to greater inclusion within the PCUSA. Our journey together, towards a church where the LGBT community has a full and accepted place is proving a rather long one, and the obstacles on the road are many. They include, but are not limited to– prejudice, homophobia, misunderstanding, cultural mores– the list goes on.

But on thinking of your theme, of living waters, I am reminded of many happy days I had as a young boy in the Scottish hills, next to burns (streams) that bubble and meander down hillsides. As a young lad, camped next to a burn for a picnic I would try and find enough large stones to build a dam – just to see if I could beat nature, and stop the flow of the water. Of course, one can’t.

However large the stone, however well it seems to fit the makeshift dam, much to the frustration of this young boy, the water found a way through. Even the advice of parents that the odds could not be beaten, didn’t put me off trying. Mind, sometimes that determination can serve one well in life.

The Spirit of Christ is much the same. People, institutions, those with privilege they want to keep, put all kinds of barriers in the way of its progress, but in the end its futile. The Spirit always finds a way through the obstacles we put in its way.

The church universal has a long history of not being able to deal with the radical inclusivity of Christ, but in the end it gets there. Like water, the Spirit of God will not be deterred from her purpose, and we arrive at a day when all members of our churches are loved and valued, and hearts are truly opened to the love and compassion of Christ.

I leave you with the verse of a hymn written by Helen Kennedy,

Lord, how I thirst, my Lord i am weak.
Lord, come to me, you alone do I seek.
Lord, you are life and love and hope,
Come, fill me with living water.

The Rev. Scott M. Rennie
Minister, Queen's Cross Parish Church of Scotland

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