June 23rd Worship At St. Clement of Alexandria
Bishop Tony Howard’s homily today was very interesting. The Gospel reading was Luke 9:18-24.
Jesus asks, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
If an ancient prophet had returned, then does that not show that there was some belief in reincarnation within the early christian Community, muses Bishop Tony? Now there is no official church position on this belief, neither condemnation or acceptance. It is not a tenet of the church but left to individual conscience.
Then we come to the scripture:
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
Why would Christ direct them to tell nobody? Perhaps, reasons Bishop Tony, Christ knew that the people were not ready to hear about a spiritual Messiah. They were expecting a political savior. Christ’s admonition was not to say anything ever, but to wait until the transfiguration, resurrection and ascension, until people could fully understand what his ministry was all about and what a true Messiah consisted of. Revelation before that would be premature and might backfire.
As usual Bishop Tony Howard has some really good insights into a life with Christ. I am encouraged that we all come to worship. We all confess our sins and start with the same clean slate. There is no reason to exclude anyone. All are welcome here to the table.