Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Will of God

When Harry Belafonte sings “There’s A Hole In My Bucket” as a duet there’s often a dialogue with the woman saying, “you gotta have will,” to get the job done. And Harry responds with, “you show me Will and I’ll show him the way.”

Who knows the “will of God”? Our Collect prayer today asks that we “may live according to [God’s] holy will.” I heard a story once about the will of God:

Apparently there was a bishop who, over a century ago, said in a sermon and in a magazine he help edit that, heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God. That was Bishop Milton Wright. He just happened to have two sons named Orville and Wilbur! Yes, the same two who flew gliders and planes in the early part of the 20th century.

People who tell the story about the immortal words of Bishop Milton Wright today often end it with the dreadful pun, “Wright was wrong.” Granted, he was wrong about air travel being impossible. But who knows that air travel is not contrary to God’s will. I’m just saying, “who knows?” This isn’t about air travel; it’s about God’s will.

There’s a clue in our Collect, “grant us the Spirit to think and do always those things that are right.” So, the will of God is that which is right (not Wright). We could enter into quite a discussion about what is right and that would be a healthy exercise, no doubt. The point is, that the place to start for discerning God’s will is with figuring out what’s right.

Again our prayers for today help. The Prayer over the Gifts says in part, that the gifts we offer at the table are more than money, that we “bring an offering of our love.” And the Prayer after Communion asks, “may we live according to your will and show the fruits of your love.”

Love is right and in accordance with God’s will.

No comments: