Duty Calls!

Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head

Luke 9:58
I Kings 19:16,19-21; Psalms 16:1-2,5,7-11; Galatians 5:1,13-18; Luke 9:51-62

In the Oratorio, “Donna Nobis Pacem,”1 the music is set to selections from the poetry of Walt Whitman. It opens with a biting expression of disappointment in the Church:

Who cares for whom the bell tolls if inside there’s nothing but the cold dust of men’s forgotten souls? Don’t point your steeple’s finger at nothing in the sky and tell me that’s the reason I should believe in your vanity. Don’t try to convince me that a stained-glass view of life gives it any more reality or purpose. Why have our sermons, our hymns, our structures lost their meaning? Our morality, our doctrine, our institutions, have they become obsolete? Oh God, have we lost our voice, or has our heart stopped beating?

This is the way many people are thinking and speaking and writing about the Church of Jesus Christ these days. A clergyman who travels a great deal said, tongue-in-cheek:

I encounter this feeling of disappointment in the Church wherever I…

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