Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


My Old Buick and Me

This past Tuesday (the Feast of the Epiphany), Bishop Harry Shipps marked the 25th year of his consecration as a Bishop. He served as the eighth Bishop of Georgia and since his retirement has served as an assisting Bishop in Texas and elsewhere. What follows is a recent reflection of his for the newsletter of St. Paul the Apostle, Savannah:
I have an old Buick. It is a 1993 model with 127,675 miles on the speedometer, and the engine sounds a bit like a coffee grinder. I love my old Buick and I take good care of it. In return, I think it appreciates me and serves me well.

I also have an old body, 1926 year male issue. It has many miles on it. It doesn't hear too well and moves rather slowly these days. I take good care of my body and I think I get good returns, all things considered. What do the old Buick and I have in common? The need for regular maintenance and care, with the full understanding that nonetheless we will wear out someday. Eventually we both will need disposal, as repairs and replacement parts no longer keep us running.

Is there a lesson here? I think so. I must be prepared to give up my old Buick someday. It is inevitable. I also must be prepared to leave this old body someday. But not too soon! The Buick will go to the scrap heap. But I have a higher hope for me, not for my body, as that will be disposed of efficiently. My hope is for the real me, the me that continues on after the body is gone.

What is my hope? We find it in the New Testament. It is a life in union with God, the creator of the cosmos. This God is 'personal,' and is 'love' in the full sense of the word. This God has been revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. We know our hope, even though we cannot imagine the details of a life beyond the created universe, out of time and space.

The care we must give ourselves reaches beyond the body to the real you and me. That care is the practice of the Christian religion to the point "that we live in such a state that we are never afraid to die."

+HW Shipps



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