Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Frozen Chosen

Generous and Patient God,

I have heard Episcopalians (and other good church folk) called the frozen chosen - stuck in their ways, stuck in their pews. Are we guilty as charged, frozen solid in our tradition?

There is a downside to that chosen people status of our Hebrew heritage. It should evoke gratitude and servanthood, but it's just as likely to breed arrogance or indifference.

Yes, we are chosen: chosen for service and called to serve those not chosen by society, circumstance or bad choices.

The Book of Common Prayer is very realistic about our true status in its Prayers for the Church:

We pray for purification, direction, reform, strength, provision and unity.

We ask you to “strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless and restore the penitent.”

That’s a generous description of the body of Christ - and of me. I can be found in each category: often careless, inconsistently penitent, sometimes faithful.

Father, I pray for a thawing of the frozen chosen. Inspire us to contrition and devoted, energetic service, in Christ’s name, Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, page 816