Two things immediately come to mind when I think about the saint that we celebrate today, Episcopal priest, William Reed Huntington. They are two vastly non-related images, so bear with me… First: the idea that from small things sometimes grow much larger things. Second: the lyrics from the Beatle’s song, I Am The Walrus “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
William Reed Huntington, born in Massachusetts in 1838 was an Episcopal priest who was deeply committed to the liturgies that the church used to proclaim the gospel Good News and how the church was viewed in the world. To the first end, Huntington was the secretary of the Prayer Book Revisions Committee and editor of the Standard Prayer Book of 1892, the second Prayer Book of The Episcopal Church.
To the second of Huntington’s deeply-held commitments, of how The Episcopal Church was viewed in the world, he authored an essay in 1870 entitled, The Church Idea, an Essay toward Unity that eventually became The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. For those of you scoring at home, the Quadrilateral is THE document that expresses and encapsulates the four fundamental points of Anglican identity.
Out of small things sometimes grow much larger things. Indeed.
“Looking up to heaven, Jesus said, ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. [cue Beatles “I Am The Walrus”] Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.'” John 17:20-26
[bracketed words my insertion]
Although the pronouns in John take some careful reading, it is the last sentence that is at the heart of what Jesus is saying in this portion of John’s gospel. Jesus says, “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them,” John 17:26.
It strikes me that when we tell someone we love that we love them, that we are indeed sharing the very love of God. The same love that Jesus makes known to us in the example of his life is the same love that we convey to those we love. We are living reflections of God’s love for God’s creation when we, even though we are sinful broken creatures, are loving towards one another.
My prayer for us this week is that we recognize the wonderful gift that we are given with those we love; that we seek and find the love of God in those we love and in those who love us. In doing so, we will be the shining reflections of God’s love for us all.