Oct 12th - Wilfrid
East versus West, time and space. This has been a long problem for the Church as a whole. It is a big world and for a long time not everyone was Christian but Christians went everywhere. Christianity developed in pockets that, while based in the same Faith, had subtle differences (as well as some major ones), usually manifested in small "t" traditions like liturgical practices. As the Church grew and legitimized, those pockets began to merge into the larger Church. Men like Wilfrid, Cuthbert, and others of his time, both Celtic and Roman, came together to solidify the Christianity we know today. But disagreements still exist. They say that the winners write history but that really cannot be true of a shared history where everyone agrees on the history.
What we often see is bitterness and rancor about not being on top especially when we see ourselves as more correct than anyone else. But we can also definitely say that when one side is up and the other down, the downs usually have some good arguments for losses due to powerlessness. But if, instead of seeing it as up and down, we should see it universally, then we can frame it as one side able to sustain itself long enough to bring stability to the other which then allows the Church as a whole to continue and grow.
It appears though, that even with local councils making decisions, we can quibble about what seems to be winners and losers. We can be recalcitrant about those decisions making it not about right or wrong but about, at best, having our voices be heard and at worst being petty about our prestige and ego. This is true of too many things within the Church.
Perhaps, you might say, in my poor attempt to be vague I am over-simplifying this. I am. But I am not speaking to the past but to us today. Will we let wrongs and perceived wrongs of the past fester and grow? Or will we follow Christ's desires and seek reconciliation and forgiveness? That is our job, to be one and not just being right. Diversity is part of our strength; so is shared doctrine. The wrongs of the past belong to the past - none of us can change the past but it is still something we share. One cannot claim the shared history as one's alone as either victim or victor. It is not about what our fore-bearers did or did not do but what we will do to do a better job of living out the Gospel together. It is together that we own Christ, or rather that he owns us.
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