Here's the deal: in around 587 BC God allowed his chosen people to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. The cream of the Jerusalem crop were carried off to Babylon and sat in depressing exile for decades...
Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. (Psalm 137:1)
Why did God let this happen?
They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands. Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding... (Isaiah 5:12-13)
For too long, Episcopalians were "God's frozen chosen", "country club Christians", "Catholic-lite", "the thinking person's church," and all kinds of other rationalizations for pleasing ourselves and ignoring God.
And so we sit in exile, in a spiritually exhausted, conflicted, shrinking (dying, really) imitation of a church. It is a time of punishment, but also of purging for a better day to come...
"Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)
Now, we can't declare an end to the exile or "fix" it. Only God can announce that, in His way and on His schedule. But as Fr. Baumann blogged, "...all the ills of the misguided Episcopal Church provide an opportunity for the faithful to dig in, strive for continuing fidelity, and hold onto the seeds for the time when the soil shall be ready to receive them and produce a rich harvest. Only God satisfies. Nothing else can..."
Since we're stuck here in Babylon, are there any Godly, satisfying things to see and do?
Here at NPA Travel Services, we will offer some suggestions for your time in exile. Be watching this blog for travel tips from the Prophet Ezekiel.