After Weeks of Reading Spong

Lord Jesus, whom we call Christ, hear our prayer:

We have finished the book.  Were you here, reading over our shoulders?  Listening to our comments?  What do you think?

For us it seems scary.  Many of our comfortable theologies, customs, traditions, and values have been challenged.  Questions have been answered, but many more have been raised.

How do we live out what we have learned?    How do we worship a God that is not Up There, or somewhere out in front, but sits here, beside us, in the pews?  How do we sing “the good old hymns,” filled as they are with words and concepts that no longer seem true?

How do we celebrate Advent and Christmas!  We still love some of the metaphors and symbols that contradict what we believe.  What will people think if we change?

What do we do about the shame we feel for the way we have treated those who are different?

But more than ever, we long to be one with the God that now shines so clearly because you lived the Christ experience.  Because you demonstrated what God had in mind when God created us and brought us into consciousness. You walked this earth and demonstrated Truth for us.

You have shown us that God delights in us, and in our friendship.  That God turns darkness into day, our suffering into peace of heart, our fears into trust.

So, Lord Jesus, as we separate now and go on with our ordinary lives, continue to be The Christ, the shining presence that shows us the way to live; that guides our minds, that leads us to answers which raise new questions.

We pray that someday we may be worthy to be called Christians.    And we thank you, Lord Jesus.

Review & Commentary

  • Sandy Street

    This is exactly how I felt but could not put into words after “Weeks of Reading Spong”. Jesus is now a metaphor for the God we have always known about but ” through a glass darkly” . Can we call Jesus Lord still or is lord now in lower case L. We can a only guess at what Jesus taught but we can ascribe to him what we feel is valid teaching about how we should live and love. Can we hold on to at least that metaphor until we find our balance?

  • Nancy DuBois

    I have been reading Spong and other scholars to which his writings led me for about 15 years now. I have from the beginning been thrilled to have my own thoughts and understandings of my God and Jesus experiences articulated and supported. It has been and still is a fantastic journey. I am still an active Episcopalian. Sometimes I say I am an Episcopalian because “they” interfere least with what I have found to be true. Also, I find in the eucharist some symbols that feed my soul and bring me “communion” with the mystical power of the Divine, the Universal Spirit of Love. So, thank you Bishop Spong for reinforcing my desire to explore and experience the mystical and indescribable divine spark within. I am also happy to say I have found a beautifully, inclusive congregation here in Atlanta, Georgia–though I sometimes blurt out “far out” thoughts (in spite of self admonitions not to shock), they still accept and love me. So, thank you also to St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church. I am so blessed in this journey!