Thursday, July 24, 2008

In another nutshell: Bishop Larry Benfield, Diocese of Arkansas

From Bishop Larry Benfield, Diocese of Arkansas [boldface mine]:

I was impressed with the quality of almost all the comments. People had put serious thought into what they said, and the comment of the day for me was one about how the Trinity itself (which is the heart of our theology, after all) is able to live simultaneously in conflict and love. The example given was that of the Son in the Garden of Gethsemane and his prayer to the Father. Surely the Anglican Communion can learn to live with this same sort of loving disagreement, the speaker reminded us.

Did I miss something here? There was and is no disagreement, no conflict among the Persons of the Trinity. Jesus was always in the Father's Will. He did not argue or refuse. He asked (as we should when we pray) "if it be possible" that the cup should pass from Him "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." And when it did not, He obeyed.

And I haven't even been to seminary!

For those who may have forgotten their Bible verses, Matthew 26:36-45 is one place to start:
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

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