Monday, January 31, 2005

”Follow Scripture, then turn left.”

Yesterday at St. David’s Denton was quite a treat. The Bishop of Dallas, The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton paid a visit.

His sermon was excellent, using all three scripture lessons . . . and St. David’s location. He began by noting that when he was given directions for his first visitation years ago, he was told “follow Scripture, then turn left” (which actually are the correct directions when coming from I-35). He noted that this reminded him of the Episcopal Church.

The theme of his sermon was that we need to be “not just off Scripture, but right on Scripture.” Being refreshingly straight talking, he remarked that being “prophetic” is today often portrayed as announcing something “new.” But that in the Bible, being prophetic is to call people back to God.

He also pointedly quoted Augustine in asking how can a man be a bishop and not hold to the Apostle’s teaching?

Like I said, he’s refreshingly straightforward. And that came through elsewhere during the service. He stumbled a little during the liturgy. St. David’s liturgy is a bit involved (which I like) so that may have thrown him off. But at one point, he just said, “Let’s take this from the top” and started the prayer over.

And during the recessional, he gave some kids a high-five while walking down the aisle. In this and other ways, his joy and humility showed.

By the way, for those who care for such things, his tat was excellent and very red. And he did bring a mitre. Sorry I don’t have a picture, but it was quite a sight.

I’ve wanted to see Bishop Stanton for some time. And I’m very glad I got to do so yesterday.

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