Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Status quo

Literally, the status quo is a Latin phrase meaning, “the state in which.” And it is used in English as referring to the existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep things the way they are. And I thanks God everyday that we are never called to let things stagnate. We are not called by God in any way to maintain the status quo.

I thank God that Christians before us knew that the status quo is never good enough for us, for God or for our neighbours.

What if Anglicans living in Charlotte’s Town decided that the status quo was good enough and chose not to meet and build a church? There was, after all, a time before St. Paul’s Church, a time when no St. Paul’s was the status quo. Thank God, the status quo is not good enough.

So, if you are seeking a comfortable gospel, one that asserts the status quo as “good enough” you’re not going to find it here. We are a people committed to the new wine, in the new wine skin. We are a people committed to the new thing that God does in every generation.

The extraordinary thing Jesus does in our Gospel today (Mark 3:20-35) is not to reject his family, or even to redefine (expand) the meaning of family, but to redefine what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The qualifier is doing God’s will.  The Christian family is not about bloodline, skin colour, education, health… The Christian family is about doing God’s will.

Sure, there is a lot about the way things are that I like and that I think God might affirm, but to say that we are perfect is misguided. One way forward is to distinguish between traditions and traditionalism. The first is that which we have inherited and that is life affirming. The second is that which we do because we’ve always done it that way. This second one is the part of the status quo that inhibits the fullness of being members of God’s family. I thank God we are called to the new thing that God does.

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