Fr. Robert Hendrickson on Worship and Justice

I stumbled across this great blogpost from a priest in the Episcopal Church. I think this is the best tying together of worship and justice that I have ever seen articulated. The highlight comes at the end of the post, which follows:

If we celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation in the Mass – how do we look upon God’s children with anything less than love and adoration?

If we adore the Body of Christ – how do we then condone torture done in our name?

If we participate in the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice – how do we allow so many around us to be sacrificed to the zeal of nations or plots of terror?

If we glory in the Resurrection – how do we condemn others to the grave in our hearts?

If we ask for forgiveness for thoughts, words, and deeds – how do we then turn our minds to hate?

If we anticipate his coming again with power and glory – how do we allow the use of power to be glorified?

If we present an offering and sacrifice to God for his use – how do we allow our wealth to be used to degrade those around us?

If we anticipate that heavenly country – how do we allow the one around us to be lost to anger and despair?

If we know, are drawn to, are called by Christ made present on the altar – how can we surrender to despair?

In other words, worship feeds justice. Justice flows naturally from true adoration.  The Church, to be the Church, must offer both with passion and joy.


~ by crossingthebosporus on August 25, 2012.

8 Responses to “Fr. Robert Hendrickson on Worship and Justice”

  1. That is so true, and because so true, so beautiful. Thanks for bringing it to our notice.

    • All part of setting up camp where I am for the time being. John Wesley’s own church.

      • It shows, doesn’t it, how much common ground there really is, if we will stay still and stop it under our feet. That poem, ‘Ithaka’, has much wisdom in it – not least for the two of us.

      • Yes, it makes me think more about the ideas I wrote a bit about in my post on “authenticity, etc.” I wonder how much we may be seeking an ideal that just may not be possible in this life. And your brother-in-law always seems to have just the right bit of wisdom for the situation too.

      • There’s a lot of wisdom in what you say here – and much for me, too, to ponder. I think we are both idealists, but we may be Romantic ones who are doomed to disappointment, unless we seek what is really on offer, not what is in our ideal – if that makes sense?

        Yes, my bil has been down the roads we are treading, and I am grateful to him for sharing some of it with us. 🙂

      • Ah, now that you use the term “romantic” I know it to be true. That’s always been the path I’ve walked down. Especially from the literature perspective. To the extent that I wrote a thesis on Arthurian Romance and wrote a tongue-in-cheek job application for a magazine of modern poetry where I ended with something like: “So if you can handle having an unabashed medievalist and romantic on your stuff, I’m your guy” (Apparently they couldn’t handle it.)

        But there may be something here for us to take away. I’m seeing some parallels with the theology of theosis. We may both be romantic idealists, but perhaps the call is to delve into the “real” and make it more like the “ideal.” Same as the “real” of our messed up lives gets taken up into the “ideal” of divinity.

        I’m glad we have your bil and that he drops boulders of wisdom onto your blog routinely. It’s always nice to hear the voice of someone who has been down the path before.

      • Isn’t it? Actually, he started as a Methodist, became Anglican, then Orthodox and then Catholic, so he really has been down all the roads we’re exploring 🙂

  2. Once both of you become Catholics, I want you both to write a conversion story. I think it might become a best seller. 🙂

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