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BISHOP ANDREW WILLIAMS’ HOMILIES AT PROVINCIAL COUNCIL

Into the Oncoming Storm,
Bishop Andrew Williams’ Homily at Provincial Council Day One

“Christian ministry, really by necessity, is a magnet for pain,” Bishop Andrew Williams says to open the homily on day one of Provincial Council. “And there can be no kingdom growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain.”

Drawing off of Mark’s account of Jesus calming the storm, the bishop continues. “It has gotten a little stormy.” And what is perhaps quite unsettling at first, he notes, is that “Jesus knew about this storm when he asked each of us to get into the boat and make this trip with him.”

“Across the Province, we are storming the strong man’s castle as carriers of the Gospel. This is so much bigger than anything we can do in our own strength.” He then summons us all saying, “The only way we can fully participate is to relocate the source of all our security in Him.”

“God’s fixed intention – His unwavering resolve,” Bishop says in sum, “is to prove through Jesus Christ how much He can love and bless ruined human beings in the Gospel—in the heat of the battle. In the eye of the storm God looks us right in the eye and levels with us. And this is what He says, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

To unpack the “unusual force of this statement”, Bishop Andrew reminds us with a final word: “Never, never, never in any circumstance whatsoever will God fail us.”

The Golden Rule,
Bishop Andrew Williams’ Homily at Provincial Council Day Two

Jesus’ Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12 “invites you to crawl inside another person’s life and see and experience the world through their eyes,” Bishop Andrew Williams says in his homily on day two of Provincial Council. He describes the Golden Rule as brilliant, perfect, and so clear before asking, “So why don’t we actually do it? Why don’t we practice it?”

“In a fallen world,” he explains, “the very principle that should trigger the Gold Rule, ‘how would I feel if…’ overpowers and smothers the operation of the Rule. In other words, we get stuck on the ‘I’ part. It is an unnatural and inhuman behavior—it goes against our natures.”

“So what is the answer?” he asks. “The answer is that we need to begin not with the application of the Golden Rule, but with God.” Subsequently, “As Jesus met us first with His love that we didn’t deserve, the same Spirit moves in us to bring the same love and mercy to another.”

“Lord, help me see this person as you see them and love them as you love them. The fruit is certain joy and the fullness of the life of Jesus in abundance.

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