Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gene Robinson - the personification of grace

Grace is a virtue rarely talked about, perhaps because it is in such short supply. But this fact means that when it is demonstrated it is all the more powerful. As "Tuesday's Child" I am supposed to be "full of grace" but I confess it is a quality that I admire so much in others, but rarely find in myself. So I was deeply moved watching the Andrew Marr interview with Gene Robinson this morning. As the only Bishop not to have been invited to Lambeth he could have been full of pique and anger. Instead he has chosen to come and be around the fringes of the conference in order to have the conversations he believes need to happen in order to help move the church on, he says " You know I think miracles happen when people who are divided by something sit and talk with each other, get to know one another as human beings and as brothers and sisters in Christ and that's why I'm going to offer myself in that way"

Whilst he has a clear position himself he is not condemning those who don't share it, he is rather recognising the importance of keeping lines of communication open. He is a brave man, whose suffering, far from embittering him, has deepened his humanity and prophetic zeal.

Sir Ian McKellen who was also there, revealed that he like Gene had received death threats in the past. But, although an atheist himself he encouraged the Bishop with the words of Thomas Jefferson, talking about whether the Constitution should ever be changed "One might as well require a man to wear still this jacket which fitted him when a boy as for civilised society to suffer under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors".

Ian adds -

"And you know we do have barbarous ancestors, in politics, in religion, in the military, in every part of our lives. And argument between the twenty first century and those old prejudices that's been played out here in this man. And that he should be in the eye of the storm as his autobiography puts it is a, an enormous weight on his shoulders. And I do wish you well on behalf of us all".


Caron said...

I wish I'd seen it. I have a great admiration for Bishop Robinson who will be preaching in Glasgow on 3 August. He is a wonderful example of serenity. Have you ever had a look at It's the blog of former Lib Dem candidate for Stirling Kelivn Holdsworth, who is now Provost of Glasgow Cathedral. I suspect you might enjoy reading it.

Linda Jack said...

Thanks Caron, I will go and have a look. I wish I could be in Glasgow on 3rd, but will see if I can get to hear him somewhere in London.


Anonymous said...

His selfishness has destroyed the Anglican church. He'd rather destroy it now than work for change within. Despicable.