I have read several of the meditations that my colleagues have written for the Diocese; very accurate/wise, some lofty, others with Anglicanism’s own language. And believe me, even as a priest of this beautiful Diocese I have had to Google some of the concepts, terms or words that have been used. I recognize that within our Diocese there are highly trained people who could understand any matter or topic anywhere. But, have we been able to carry the message even to those who are brand new to our congregation?
I want to share two short anecdotes from little ones who were asked a question in Sunday school.
Teacher: What is the gospel?
Child: The good news!
Teacher: And what is the good news?
Child: The Gospel!
Pastor: What is sin?
Girl: The things we like!
“As we look for a Bishop I want to exhort all leaders to try and explain so that even the smallest in our Diocese--whether of age, of spiritual maturity or of time of having met the Lord-- know and understand what is happening now in our Diocese.”
It's funny, isn't it? And although it seems so, in a certain way the two children are right. While I know they lack some depth in their answers, neither do I want those children to read a theology book on "The Gospel" or on "Sin" because they wouldn't understand, right? And I don't know if at this point in my writing you know where I'm headed. Thinking about Scripture, I can see several examples of the desire of God or of his servants for the clear message to reach EVERYONE.
These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6)
God wants EVERYONE, even the little ones, to understand his message. I am sure that Moses with his leadership, attributes and the guidance of the Spirit of God made sure that the previous message in Deuteronomy reached every home. I am sure that the communication channels that Moses chose were the most effective. As the son of a merchant and businessman, I am amazed at the perfect organization that God asked and still asks for for his people and his church. Even in the Bible I can see a "business."
Jethro advises Moses (Exodus 18)
Jesus divided into groups (Matthew 19: 28-30; Mark 6: 30-44; Luke 10: 1-24)
Build an ark (Genesis 6:14)
Build the Tabernacle (Exodus 25: 8-9)
Save sinners (Mark 2:17)
Evangelism (Acts 13: 2)
Win the race (1 Corinthians 9: 24-27)
Recruitment (Judges 7: 4; Mark 3: 13-19)
Training (Exodus 31; Ephesians 4:11)
1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 5:23
I could go on and on with examples, but I don't want to give you more work looking for all these scriptures and I also don't want to miss the point of my main idea which is to deliver the message from the wisest to the newest in the congregation, that is to ALL.
1 all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. (Nehemiah 8)
As we look for a Bishop I want to exhort all leaders to try and explain so that even the smallest in our Diocese--whether of age, of spiritual maturity or of time of having met the Lord-- know and understand what is happening now in our Diocese. How delicate is it not to have a Bishop in a Diocese? How important is the search for a new Bishop? What is the role that we ALL have in this search? And finally and the most important question for me in this meditation: DOES EVERYONE KNOW WHAT A BISHOP IS? What are their functions, their role, their importance, why or for what purpose do we have one. I know many of these questions have been answered by others, but I repeat: Have we already passed on the clear and precise message to EVERY brother and sister in our Diocese? Only then can we change the title of this meditation from “A Bishop??” to “THE BISHOP”.
I ask that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, gives you all the Spirit of widsom and revelation so that you may know Him better. (Ephesians 1.17)
-Pastor Farhid Adabache
Rev. Farhid AdabacheAssistant Pastor, Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd at Hill
Farhid served Iglesia Gran Pastor in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico for many years. He is now serving the people of Las Cruces, New Mexico at a different Gran Pastor (Good Shepherd at Hill) and has started a weekly service in Spanish. He loves music, sports, watching movies and going to the beach with his family.