Episode 385 - Jack, Be Nimble -- NOT!

Episode 349 · April 30th, 2024 · 21 mins 33 secs

About this Episode

I keep hearing the word "nimble" these days. It comes up in relation to declining and therefore merging church institutions, in which a press release declares that the sale of a church property or the merger of two diminished churches or dioceses will now enable the Church to be more "nimble" in relation to community outreach or the desire to build bridges to the world.

What the word hides is institutional attrition. It is a way of putting a brave face on empirical defeat. (It's a little like the adjective "nuanced". Watch out.)

I saw so clearly at the recent Mockingbird Conference that the renewal of the Christian Church is not tied to a horizontal strategy or even a quality of enterprise. The renewal of the Church consists in its re-affirmation of the One-Way Love of the Gospel of God. The pain of individual experience is so widespread that all it takes is a word -- a pastoral "position", we might say -- of empathetic attentive love for the person in pain to be helped beyond measure. Because the word of empathy and compassion is the Word of God's Grace.

One saw this in almost innumerable one-to-one conversations at the Mockingbird Conference. (Didn't you?) Personally, I could not feel less "nimble" -- tho' you may remember that I was a total jock in PZ's school days!

The fact is, helping is not about nimble. It's about One-Way Love and the Divine Compassion for sufferers in all shapes and sizes. That's the ticket.

Oh, and even if Noel Coward was a committed agnostic, the scene between disconsolate mother and ghostly son in Scene Two of Coward's play "Post-Mortem" (1930) touches on the Greatest Thing in the World. I don't think he ever wrote a greater paragraph than the speech which the grieving mother makes to her ghostly son.

LUV U. (And it's not "complicated".)