Monthly Archives: April 2011
Prince William and Kate Middleton were married today – 3am in my time-zone. I didn’t stay up to watch, but have been catching news clips since I got up this morning.
It’s exciting news! It captures peoples’ imagination. There were hundreds of thousands of people gathered in London to catch a glimpse of the royals in-person. There were supposed to be two billion people who tuned in to watch the ceremony on TV and on the internet. (This is a fair jump from the 750 million who were supposed to have watched William’s parents, Diana and Charles, wed some thirty years ago.)
I would imagine that people pay attention for a variety of reasons. Many may scoff at tradition, when it comes to things like religion, or the monarchy, or parliamentary procedure, and yet it’s something of a ‘glue’ in our culture that can’t be denied. I liked Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams’ reflections on the wedding in the lead-up to the great event. He comments that, in the wedding of William and Kate, they represent something that we all long for, and perhaps even invite something of each of us that we hold as ideals: commitment, generosity, faithfulness.
And as I looked over the order-of-service for the ceremony, I could find elements that were familiar to me and my tradition – hymns, prayers, words that conveyed commitment and intention, and affirmed a set of beliefs which would be lived out.
In the messy-ness of election time, here in Canada, where words are spoken, but not always with sincerity, or jabs are made in order to put down another’s character in the race to gain a position of influence, this ceremony was a breather and moment of celebration and happiness in which many around the world came together to share.
The Royal Wedding was a moment of union between a couple, and perhaps also a moment that drew many others – of different backgrounds and views – together in ways that aren’t often possible. …perhaps a moment of clarity and hope we can all work towards in more of our living.
And, by the way, the royal couple are now to be known as “Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”
The annual Way of the Cross social justice walk is organized by Kelowna KAIROS. Here is the reflection from the stop outside “The Centre” on Water St.
Jesus’ ministry took him outside of the circles of power and privilege. He did not live lavishly; in fact, he lived off the welfare of women. His ministry began as he connected himself to John the Baptist’s movement – a movement that drew people outside the safe confines of the city walls, a movement that called people to question status quo living. And the ministry that Jesus undertook always questioned the idea of being at the centre of power and what that meant.
Even as we, today, may be quick to pat ourselves on the back for advances made in civil rights. Even as we, today, may say that all people in our culture have a place and have opportunity. Even as we may say that all have access and privilege like others, the fact remains that not all have the same status and not all are allowed the same choices.
This area – the Okanagan, and even more particularly, Kelowna – has enjoyed a long history of white, Christian, and wealthy living. Diversity is a challenge, but there are signs of change. A new mosque, a new temple; a new university, a new rainbow mural… all of these recent additions to this city draw us out of ourselves and invite us to open ourselves.
We can be thankful for those who are not like us because they help us to learn about us. And we can be mindful of the needs of those whose voices may not always be heard – and it is our responsibility to help their needs get met.
Let us pray…
God of the outcasts, you know we create societal structures where some are in and some are out. We confess that we do not invite or welcome as we ought; we know we have made invisible barriers by discriminating against people who are different than us. But you, God, are gracious, and we are grateful that you show mercy and continue to welcome us – inviting us to show welcome as you do. We pray for grace in our living, conscious this day that we are joined in the death of one who went to the margins in his living as a model for us, Jesus Christ. Amen.