Easter 5 - Year B
And so we were led to go toward the south that goes down from Wisconsin to the Florida Keys. There was the United Methodist Church in Tampa, seated in General Conference, debating what it meant to be transformed into disciples of Jesus. Actually it was more about making others into ourselves. We heard so many different interpretations of scripture that it became a babel of confused theologies. At one point 44% voted that Grace was not available to all - John Wesley wept; John Calvin winked.
Unspoken was the question, “How can I understand? Where is a reliable voice in the midst of so many voices?"
The good news is that there is a reliable lens through which we might hear the depths of a religious tradition call out to us.
At General Conference human identity issues measure every vote. What will divestment from Israel mean for Palestinians? What does ordination have to do with sexual orientation? Who benefits from a concentration of power into the hands of the pious? How much of a budget belongs to the poor?
And we left Tampa with these questions unasked. Baptisms deferred rather than offered. It was if we were never there.
May the spirit prepare better questions for the United Methodist Church to ask.