Sunday, October 24, 2010

Minnesota's missionary bishop: sermon at the consecration of the Dakota's missionary bishop, 1873

"The Apostles went everywhere 'preaching the Kingdom of God.' To the eye of man there was nothing more than a few lowly men going two and two, telling of God's love and pouring water upon willing listeners and breaking bread with benediction. Yet, wherever they went, the Kingdom of God went also. The Gospel they preached was no new religious philosophy. It was not a mere aggregate of religious doctrine. It presented to all men a real King and a real Kingdom. It told them of a risen and ascended Lord, who had made the trial of human sorrow, and knew the burdens which brought furrows to the cheek and deeper lines of suffering to the heart. It told them of a real Son of Man who loved them, who pitied them, who felt for them, and of a Son of God who was able and willing to help them. The Gospel which the Apostles preached centered in a person. It presented to all men a religion of fact."

The whole sermon is here.

Fr. Ryan Hall, Rector of St. Paul's in Brookings, SD, has an engaging commentary on the missionary theology that guided then-frontier bishops like Whipple (MN) and Hare (the Dakotas). Fr. Hall's thoughts are worth a good read, just like the sermon.

Hope lives at both links - because both resound with solid belief that God is good and faithful and that the unique message of Jesus Christ is true. Those who hold these beliefs within and demonstrate them in action are God's strongest proof in every generation.

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