When I read the Old Testament passage in this morning's service at York Minster one verse took my eye: “And whether they listen or fail to listen —for they are a rebellious people —they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 2:5) Knowing the preacher was to be the Archbishop of Canterbury, I thought this was apposite, if not ironic.
The Archbishop named the frustration that characterises not only the church at present, but infects our wider society. He was direct, funny and poignant. The sermon needs to be listened to in full here, but the transcript will be available from the same link soon.
But, addressing the two other readings also – 2 Corinthians 12:2-10 and Mark 6:1-13 – he noted that Ezekiel was a frustrated prophet, Paul a frustrated evangelist, the twelve disciples frustrated followers, and Jesus 'could do no deed of power there'. It was in this context that he observed:
There is no power that can force the human heart… The human heart changes when it is broken by love.
I can't do justice to the sermon – it has to be heard in its entirety and I am too busy anyway. However, he concluded by noting that Jesus did what he did anyway, touched some people anyway, and that he simply and wryly demonstrated that his grace is enough.
It certainly shines a different light on the fevers around the synod this weekend.