Monday, February 23, 2009
The Eagle, the Unicorn and the Lion: going to Presbytery
We drove toward Chico on a sunny afternoon.
My husband and I on our way to Presbytery in Orland.
He for an outing which turned into a tuning, I preparing to help with devotions and my two minute speech and voting to do.
Spring was peeking out of the gloominess of a California February.
The grass was green from late rains and the beginning of swelling in tree buds cast all their empty branches in a faint hazy pink.
Returning birds flew in formations landing in the wetlands and rice fields. A white egret was almost on the road eating among the new greens.
In an extremely tall tree leaning by the highway at the very tip sat an eagle.
“You yourselves have seen … how I bore you on eagles wings, and brought you to myself.” (Exodus 19:4b)
“High above him some winged thing went through the air; he could not tell what it was but he felt comforted to see it. He was not entirely alone, it seemed; the pure balance of that distant flight entered into him as if it had been salvation.” The place of the Lion, by Charles Williams
“The fields are all yellow with flowers” I say.
He calls them rape seed plants.
I argue they are wild mustard. We do this every spring.
It is unimportant, the kind of argument older married couples enjoy renewing with the seasons.
“’Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one’? (Matthew 19:4-5)
In a small Italian restaurant, a place, my husband has been wanting to take me, we sat eating.
The veal was very good, the wine marvelous.
A very old piano sat in a corner and some one began to play
Baroque and Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze.”
“We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3b)
“None but the Virtue understood, in its soaring comprehension, the safety in which the sheep still lived, or from what yet deeper distance of spirit was to arise the Innocence which everlastingly formed and maintained them.” The Place of the Lion
In the morning we met.
Prayed, read Scripture, each text twice.
The moderator had read my blog;
He called and asked me to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
Please listen to the word of God.
“Love … does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Many spoke for, many against.
The Moderator asked us to face those in the pew as we spoke and speak to brothers and sisters.
I spoke of communion, the Lord’s Supper.
How the word rightly preached must be with the sacraments.
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female.”
How shall we take the Lord’s Supper in a strange land;
A land where the word is not rightly proclaimed?
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads my bond servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality …” Rev. 3:20)
There didn’t seem to be many there; one or two figures were moving at the upper end; a few more were scattered about the small building. They were seated as if waiting--perhaps for the Breaking of Bread. …he saw it. It was standing at the other end of Zion; it was something like a horse in shape and size, but of dazzling whiteness, and from the middle of its forehead there grew a single horn. … He saw the Divine Unicorn gently sustaining itself in that obscure and remote settlement of the faithful. … it lowered and tossed its head, and again that gleaming horn caught all the light in Zion, and gathered it, and flashed it back in a dazzling curve of purity.” The Place of the Lion
The vote came: pro 65, con 75.
A lady asked me afterwards, “Do you really believe the Bible could change a homosexual person?”
I said “no, but Jesus could.”
On the way home we drove by orchards, and here and there a lonely almond tree in bloom.
Red wings gathered on a fence and one field was filled with sheep, heavy with wool, waiting for a spring shearing.
Christian bikers with crosses and crowns of thorns roared past.
"By the side of the road, … there appeared the creature they had set out to seek. It was larger and mightier than when they had seen it before--and, comparatively close as they now were, they fell back appalled by the mere effluence of strength that issued from it. It was moving like a walled city, like the siege-towers raised against Nineveh or Jerusalem; each terrible paw, as it set it down, sank into the firm ground as if into mud, but was plucked forth without effort; the movements of its mane, whenever it mightily turned its head, sent reverberations of energy through the air, which was shaken into the wind by that tossed hair.” The Place of the Lion
“Stop weeping; behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome.” Rev. 5:5