Archbishop of Canterbury's Sermon at York Minster
Sunday 06 July 2008
General Synod, July Group of Sessions
Any congregation might be forgiven for wondering what are we going to hear about this morning. Members of Synod in particular (but perhaps members of the Church of England in general) may have the slight sense that there's rather too much to be hearing about, that we're suffering somewhat from issue fatigue. So perhaps we ought to begin where we always ought to begin, in listening to what the Word of God has to say. And scripture says, 'Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion. I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit". And today's scriptures say, 'Who will rescue me from this body of death. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord'. And scripture says, 'Come to me all you who travail and are heavy laden. My yoke is easy and my burden is light'. In a way, the pivot for understanding all this is provided in the epistle today. Paul in the letter to the Romans gives us the key.
We live under law, different kinds of law. The law of God, which is for our health, and the law we make for ourselves. We long to be masters of our future, and so we become the prisoners of our past. We long to take control of the world we're in. And because we are who we are, and our histories have been what they have been, we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into unfreedom. The will that we want to use to conquer the world, is a will weakened and bruised by the legacy of self-love, going back to the very roots of the human race. The effects of that legacy work themselves out as relentlessly as any oriental karma. We want to take hold of our future and we are gripped, paralysed, by our past.We find ourselves in that 'waterless pit' of which Zechariah speaks....
Read the rest HERE.