It wasn’t closely covered by the media. My hunch is most of us aren’t pugged-in to communities where we would hear much about it. I stumbled upon it. Yet, it carried an image — and an invitation — that stopped me in my tracks.
Read the following. Who spoke these words last week? Can you guess the image I found so stunning in its originality?
Mother Church will continue rising from the dead if we keep crossing into new territories, in our back yards, prisons, city parks, and pockets of despair, here and across the globe. If we believe, if we’re faithful, we know that the ancient truth remains, and resurrection is always emerging from death. That healing may cost plenty of blood, sweat, and tears – but it is rooted in the firm belief that God does enlighten, heal, and deliver.
Pay no attention to the finger-wagging. Turn around and look for the hem of Jesus’ robe. Go searching in new territory. Reach out and touch what is clothing the image of God. Give your heart to that search and you will not only find healing but become healing. Share what you find and you will discover the abundant life for which all God’s children have been created. And indeed, the Lord will turn weeping into dancing.
These compelling words were spoke by The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church as she concludes her nine years as their Presiding Bishop.
The incisive image that captures the commission given to all the baptized?
Turn around and look for the hem of Jesus’ robe. … Reach out and touch what is clothing the image of God.
Of course, the Last Judgment (Matt 25) comes to mind, perhaps the Beatitudes. But even these famous Scriptures can be so occluded with so much pious baggage that we miss — or evade — the point.
Stop looking up — look down! “People of Jerusalem, why do you just stand there looking up into the sky? Move on! Do something!” At least that’s my recollection of the angel’s admonition after Jesus’ ascension.
What are we looking for? What do we expect? If we but saw the hem of Jesus’ robe! Knowing where to look, what to look for, and for whom to look dramatically increases our odds of finding what it is we seek!
What is clothing the image of God today? Here? Now? Right in front of us? Don’t look up, look down! Reach out… touch!
The entirety of Bishop Jefferts Schori’s sermon may be found [here].