Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Falcon & the Falconer: Going to Presbytery

One doesn’t feel like poetry or prose after the Presbytery meeting and yet ….

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold”
(William Blake)

I think of two years ago, good wine, circling eagles and mighty Lions.
but find It hard to write of journeys now. And yet out of a ditch
in startling fashion an egret flew straight across the road barely missing our car, while from the same ditch, at the same time, a hank rose straight into the air.

Companions unintended by their creator; disaster almost came as they flew their separate ways. -
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity

They stood there at the microphone owning their thoughts but more; the mighty words of God. Simply reading scripture. Hoping for the power of His word. It fell away.

The falcon cannot hear the Falconer.

He stood there the gay elder in the straight black coat. Pleading his cause: the older woman who lives in fornication for the sake of money. Her gifts are wasted he said- she needs our gift of ordination.

The falcon cannot hear the Falconer.

80 proud they stood; the Word was emptied before them.[1]
We filled a paper with our protest-they rushed away-
Surely some revelation is at hand” but it is not the Falconer’s.
Surely the lie of something new-but it is an old lie:

They “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4b)

The falcon cannot hear the Falconer.

The poet saw a lion- it was a monstrosity, “[It] Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert/ A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.” It rose to fill a crib of Bethlehem. It rose to destroy.

But, no matter, the Lion of Charles Williams, the Lion of all Christendom, the Lion of Judah still reigns.

"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 by Charles Williams

“Stop weeping; behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome.” Rev. 5:5

[1] 10 A 80 for/ 76 against
Belhar 78 to 79 defeated
nFOG 70 to 85 defeated.


Stushie said...

I feel your pain Viola. After the vote in East Tennessee, I asked to record my dissent and stepped forward to sign my name on the Stated Clerk's minutes. As I walked forward I could hear the sniggering.

Later on at the meeting, another pastor commissioner made a joke about dissent. He is obviously ignorant of the 18,000 Scots Covenanters who lost their lives in order to maintain that voice of dissent.

The battle is over, but the War has just begun.

Viola Larson said...

I saw what you wrote about dissent. And I wondered why. The moderator was going to make us vote on our right to dissent. One pastor stood up and protested that we did not have to vote. She was a bit upset. But we have a parliamentarian who helped.

You are right the war has just begun and I fear will be very nasty.

Debbie said...

I heard from another pastor in Sacramento presbytery that there was sniggering and snide remarks made about those who stood up to dissent. That really bothers me. If they are all about love, why can't they act loving towards their theological opponents? You shall know a tree by its fruit, Jesus said, and apparently their tree does not bear the fruit of love.

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Viola Larson said...

I think there is a lot of ugliness coming out now that people think they are going to get their way. You can see it in the things people are saying about the "Fellowship."

Presbyman said...


The quote from Jude is amazingly and chillingly apropos for these circumstances.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

will spotts said...

viola -

Just a clarification - am I reading correctly that Belhar and nfog were defeated at this meeting while 10 A was passed?

Viola Larson said...

Yes you are and that seems to be happening in a lot of places. I think the biggest issue here is that people just don't want to be bothered with 'the' issue anymore. I think they are in for a surprise as the whole thing gets bigger and the issue grows into a monstrosity.

will spotts said...

That combination struck me as odd. You're probably right about why.

Will Spotts
North East, MD