Sermon for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost


For audio of this sermon go here: The Cathedral Church of St. John’s Sermon Archive  and look for October 2, 2011

Our Old Testament reading this week is curious.  In it the prophet Isaiah says, “Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard.”  He describes the vineyard, but then informs us that instead of the expected harvest of grapes, the vineyard has yielded wild grapes.  Because of this, God—the beloved Isaiah speaks of—breaks down the hedge and tears down the wall and lets his vineyard get ruined.  Furthermore, God says, “I will make it a waste…I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.” Now I’m not a musical expert, but it doesn’t seem this love song has a much of a chance at the Billboard top 40.

Verse 7 makes sure that the metaphor will not be misunderstood:

“For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; He expected justice but saw bloodshed; righteousness but heard a cry!” 

What a chilling statement.  In Hebrew, it’s a play on words, but even that doesn’t make it less scary.  The Hebrew word for justice here is mishpat while the word for bloodshed is mishpah; the word for righteousness is tsedeqah, the word for cry is tseaqah.   Bloodshed then is a subtle pervsion of justice, and a cry of despair is what happens when righteousness is perverted.

These wild grapes that God is so upset about, then, are precisely these perversions of justice: turning justice into bloodshed and righteousness into a cry of suffering. That Yahweh, the Lord of Hosts is preeminently concerned about justice, and is really, really upset about the perversion of justice is a primary theme for the prophet Isaiah as it is for most of the Old Testament prophets.

Isaiah 5:16 tells us that:

“The LORD of Hosts is exalted by justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness.”

Throughout the book the children of Israel are condemned for their unjust deeds and exhorted to make them right, like in chapter 1:

 “I have had enough of your burnt-offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs, or of goats…

Rather, God says further in that same chapter:

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

In chapter 10 verses 1-2 we find this:

“Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that the widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey!  What will you do on the day of punishment, in the calamity that will come from far away?”  

Just another verse of that love song.

Turning to the rest of the Old Testament we find passage after passage, injunction after injunction, statement after statement about God’s concern for justice: the Psalmist says,

“He loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of the loving-kindness of the LORD.” And “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” Moses tells the Israelites, “Justice and only justice, you shall pursue that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Amos says, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24); In chapter 22 of Jeremiah, King Jehoiakim is reminded that doing justice and righteousness, and rightly judging the cause of the needy is what it means to know God.

But as we see in our passage and many others, it did not go well for the people of Israel when they did not do justice.  The Old Testament paints a picture of God’s dealings with the ancient Israelites as a cycle: God tells the Israelites they must do justice, and worship only Him.  They fail to do these two things, he sends prophets to warn the people and get them to repent.  They don’t.  God judges them, and bad things happen.  Then the people repent.  Then God rescues and restores them, tells them to do justice and worship only Him and the cycle begins again.  This is the story that Isaiah calls a love song.

Then Jesus comes along, and he tells the parable we heard this morning, clearly evoking the passage about the vineyard in Isaiah 5.  But in this telling, there are tenants—which represent the religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees and priests of Israel, some of whom just happened to be present as he tells the story.

Jesus tells how when the servants of the landowner, came to the tenants to ask for the fruit owed to the landowner, they were beaten and thrown out.  These servants represent the prophets like Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, and Amos. And so it becomes pretty clear that this parable is describing this long cyclical story, the history of God’s dealings with His people.  And then Jesus does something brave.  He inserts himself into the narrative: the Son, who is sent by the patient landowner as a last ditch effort to reconcile the unruly tenants to Himself.  Jesus is unabashedly calling himself the son of God.  But the Son is thrown out of the vineyard and killed.  Rejection, betrayal, murder; the building blocks of all good love songs.

There are at least two exceptional things about this story that I want to point out.

First, is that Jesus takes the focus from the vineyard as a whole being unruly, producing wild grapes, etc., and puts it on the religious leaders of his day.  For Jesus, the blame is on them.  He was a prophetic voice in the very truest sense, calling these guys out and telling them who they were, and forcing them to pass judgment on themselves.  Notice they are the ones who suggest that the landowner come back and destroy the tenants, and then they realize that they are the tenants. Did they also see the irony in their reaction to finding out that Jesus was talking about them, that they immediately wished to arrest and kill him, the Son?

Second, Jesus inserts himself not just into this little story, but into the cosmic narrative of how God is saving His people; Jesus places himself in the context of this cycle of Israel being told by God to do justice and worship him alone—or as Jesus puts it, “To love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” Justice begins and ends with neighbor-love.

But Jesus is not just another in a long line prophets who come to warn the Israelites of impending doom.  He is also the solution, the cycle-breaker. He is the stone the builder’s rejected which has become the cornerstone; God’s final answer to the problem of injustice, bloodshed and the disobedience of His people.  The Gospel writers tells us that Isaiah is prophesying about Jesus when he says:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.  He will not cry of lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.  He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.”

Injustice is not an endless cycle, it has an end, and that end lies with Jesus.  But it is a surprising end.  Because Jesus did not come in the form of the wrath of God to destroy the unjust, he did not kill those who killed the prophets or those who had a big hand in getting him killed.  Jesus’ solution to injustice is much crazier and disturbing than that.  His solution to the injustice of the people is to offer himself over to that injustice.  To suffer.  To die.  And through his death to conquer death.  The cycle of injustice and bloodshed was only, can only be broken through love, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice.  Salvation, freedom, justice, and righteousness can only be acquired through love, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice.

And so it is because of Jesus and his ultimate and surprising solution to injustice, that we can look back at Isaiah 5 through the lens of the Gospel and say, yeah, that is a love song.  The whole narrative arc of Scripture, when it is seen through the interpretive lens of Christ, is nothing less than the greatest love song ever written, a love song of a God who yearns to reconcile all His people, all creation in fact to himself.

Through his life, teachings, death, and resurrection Christ has inaugurated the reign of God on earth, and it is a reign of justice and of peace.  As Isaiah prophesies again:

“His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore.  The zeal of the LORD of Hosts shall do this.”

And yet this kingdom remains not fully consummated.  There is still much injustice and bloodshed in this world.  All of creation still groans for the day when this justice and righteousness and peace and love of God will flow like an ever-flowing stream.

It’s as if the Son, Jesus, has gone off to a distant place and has left tenants in his vineyard until his return.  We, Christ’s followers, are the signs and the symbols, the first-fruits, the representatives of that now-but-not-yet Kingdom.  We are the tenants in the vineyard of the Kingdom of God.  Our task today then is the same as it was in Isaiah’s day: to worship only God, and to tend to the vines of justice and righteousness, to bring about the fruit of love and reconciliation in our little corner of the vineyard, in our community, and our families and our church, so that with hope and joy in our hearts, we can all anxiously await the arrival of the landowner’s Son.  Amen.


An Attempt at Composing a Collect

Tony SigWell, things have been quite slow around here, and I can’t promise they’ll speed up. Nevertheless I wanted to try and run a collect by ya’ll and see what you thought. It’s a prayer for peace that I’m basing on the book of Ephesians. Though slightly clunky so far, it is an attempt not only to get at a core part of Paul’s epistle, but also to maintain it’s distinctive trinitarian shape, which flows less easily than a traditional Anglican collect. One of the reasons I wanted to write it is for the prayer and fasting group that some of us are loosely involved in, for easy memorization and recitation when we’re not near other prayer resources. What would you change?

“Almighty God, heavenly Father, who is rich in mercy, and who by grace has made of many nations a single people in Jesus Christ, having broken down the dividing walls of hostility: Preach peace, we ask, to those far off and those near who are dead in trespasses and caught up in the violence of the world, that we with them may be made alive together with Christ, who is our peace and through whom we have access in one Spirit to You. Amen”

Anglican Identities: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu


In the tasty casserole that is theology there are many layers.  Some layers tend to be more important than others, but to forget any one layer always lessens the whole.  In theology, there are at least three layers: study, prayer, and action.  I think all three are vitally important for theology to really be theology.  But is one more important than the others?

The Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, while clearly a participant in the first two layers of theology as a profound thinker and educator and as a man of prayer, is perhaps best known as a theologian of action.  Beginning in the late 1970s, he non-violently fought an unrelenting war on the injustice of apartheid, preaching peace and justice ex cathedra (as bishop of Johannesburg, Lesotho and finally Archbishop of Cape Town), and preaching from the streets, amongst the protesters, risking his life on nearly a daily basis for two decades until he saw apartheid fall.  Immediately, he began working for reconciliation and forgiveness.  He chaired what is arguably the most extraordinary committee every convened by a government, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is credited for preventing a race-war that would have destroyed South Africa and would have had devastating consequences for the entire continent.  That work completed he moved on to champion the causes of eradicating HIV/AIDs and poverty in Africa, as well as continuing to call all people of the world to peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.  How beautiful the feet of them who preach the Gospel of Peace.

His theological action, as well as his career as bishop was preceded by a successful academic career, but still much of his theological writing has grown out of his lifetime of theological activism.  His themes are relatively simple, forgiveness, unconditional love, justice, peace and non-violence and yet these Sunday School ideas are lent a deep profundity by the power of Desmond Tutu’s witness.  It is his right theological action that gives him authority to speak.  Furthermore, these mainly ethical concerns of his are radically rooted in the theology of  creation, anthropology, and Incarnation; all good Christian ethics is really theology, and all good theology leads to good Christian ethics.

One central and influential theological concept that Archbishop Tutu is credited with bringing to the attention of the Church is the African theological concept of Ubuntu.  As Tutu puts it, Ubuntu means that “my humanity is inextricably bound up with yours, so that we can only be humans together.”  There is a no more elegant theology of the Other than Ubuntu theology.

I fear–partly due to recent controversy–the idea of Ubuntu has been written off by some as a liberal theological fad that has no root in orthodoxy, but before one makes hasty judgements one should consult Archbishop Tutu on the subject both in books like No Future without Forgiveness and in some of his recorded interviews (ignore the ridiculous guy in the beginning), speeches, sermons (like one linked to the word “liberal” below), and lectures.

Archbishop Tutu is one of the main reasons I began to look into the Episcopal Church.  He is, I believe, one of the finest examples of a Christian anywhere in the Church universal, and certainly in the Anglican communion.  While many in the Anglican communion, especially many of his brothers in the global south, feel that he is entirely too liberal, and while many in the Episcopal church may even feel that he is a bit too traditional, and while many others think he is just plain silly, I feel that he is quintessentially Anglican.  Aren’t we too liberal for some, and too traditional for others?  Aren’t we the “laughing-stocks” of Christianity (praise be to God)?

His life and example point to one of the things that fascinates me very much about this church: how does the Anglican church–which for much of its history was an imperial church, spreading the imperial gospel of English domination–how does such a church produce remarkable men like Desmond Tutu?  How did it turn itself around like that, from being a force of oppression and injustice to being one the most stalwart and proven means of their dismantling?  The Anglican communion may not always have the recipe just right, but one must admit that those three elements of study, prayer and action are vividly present in this weird, troubled, and hopeful church.  One should also admit that in Desmond Tutu the Anglican church has an incredible witness of God’s coming reign of peace and justice.

Prayer and Fasting for Peace


Today, as I sat contemplating the possibility of (more) war in the Middle East, I realized something: I don’t pray nearly enough for peace.  Sure the deacon recites this prayer every Sunday:

Guide the people of this land, and of all nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good…Lord, in your mercy”

To which I heartily reply: “Hear our prayer.”  But that is by and large the extent of my prayer life concerning peace.  What’s more, I’ve never fasted for peace. 

It occurred to me that there are thousands–maybe tens of thousands–of Christians out there who don’t believe that peace is possible or even beneficial, who believe that America’s wars are blessed by God, who believe that violence toward Muslims, gays and other perceived enemies is just fine, and who pray and fast on a regular basis.    There are National Days of Prayer when God has to listen to (among better things) idolatrous, nationalistic prayers about how He needs to bless America and Israel and destroy China, Iran, and North Korea, and how the Holy Spirit needs to touch Obama’s heart and make him repeal the healthcare bill, and resign, and get “born again.” 

But, when do I (we) pray that God fulfills the prophesy given in Isaiah 2:1-5?  When do I (we) pray that God changes the hearts of human-beings–myself included–who harbor violence and hatred in their hearts toward fellow human-beings? 

I may be an E-whisk-i-palian, and I even voted for George W. Obama (in answer to the billboard: “How can I miss George W. Bush, when we have one of his clones running the country right now!”) but, I still believe that God intervenes in human history.  Don’t get me wrong, I also believe that we are God’s hands and feet, living Icons of Christ and representatives of His coming Kingdom.  Right action must accompany prayer, but it is all too often the prayer part that gets left out in my life.

So, I propose that those of us in our little blog community who a) believe in peace and non-violence, and b) believe that God answers prayer start to assign some action to our beliefs.  Maybe I’m the only one of you guys who isn’t, in which case, I need your guidance.

Shall we set aside one day a week to fast and pray for peace?

Shall we plan a week of fasting and prayer this summer? 

How do you guys pray and fast for peace?  I hope some of my peacenik friends will chime in here…

*PICTURE NOTE: I was looking for a cheesy prayer picture.  I think I did pretty well.  Gotta love lightning emanating from folded hands, accompanied by a dove and and open Bible.  All that’s missing is an American flag and a M-16.

Which Comes First, the Religio-Ethical Chicken, or the Geo-Political Egg: An Inner Dialogue


What follows is a sort of dialogue with myself.  In italics you will find the words of James the citizen of the United States, and in bold (because it’s more important) you’ll find the words of James the citizen of the Kingdom of God.  This is not an attempt, of course, to speak definitively the words of the Kingdom, or even the proper opinions of a US citizen, rather this is a first attempt to disambiguate for myself where my opinions are coming from, and what foundation they ultimately have. 

One of the things I am trying to work out here is whether  my citizenship in the Kingdom of God actually determines my behavior as a citizen of the US, or whether it is the other way around.    I am working off the premise that my committment to the Christian tradition and Christian ethics SHOULD determine my behavior always and in every way, and that any allegiance to a place, or that places’ history, culture and politics is ONLY important as much as it lines up with my commitment to Christ (A more controversial corollary is that  all the things that make up the citizenship of any earthly kingdom SHOULD be held with a certain amount of detachment, if not suspicion by citizens of God’s Kingdom).    


Italics= James, Citizen of the United States

Bold= James, Citizen of the Kingdom of God

— — — — —

I can think of two reasons why I am interested in politics and engaged in political discourse.  1. Self-interest.  2. I honestly believe that following Jesus demands I speak out and act for and against certain social issues that inevitably have a political element.

If anyone wants to be a member of the Kingdom of God, they must die to self.

President Bush was one of the worst presidents of all time.  Far from breaking with  Bush’s flawed and misguided (if not evil and totally corrupt) administration, the Obama administration seems to be a continuation of it.  The warmongering continues.  The torturing continues.  The wholesale disregard of the common good for the sake of profit and power continues.  In fact, the essence of the American presidency hasn’t fundamentally changed since…well, maybe it never has: democrat, republican, or whig, Catholic, or Protestant, the President of the United States has presided over atrocity after atrocity: the Trail of Tears, the Japanese Internment, the Atomic Bomb, wars or covert actions in the following places: Mexico, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Columbia, El Salvador, Mexico again (I’m talking about NAFTA), many other Central and South American countries, Iraq, Iraq again, Afghanistan, now Yemen, maybe Iran…and those are just the ones off the top of my head.  

Christians are not to put their trust in earthly rulers, but in God alone.  Christians do not believe in revenge.  Christians do not believe that overcoming evil with evil is even possible, much less pleasing to God. 

I almost sympathize with the Tea Party crowd.  I say almost, because, if they are successful, they are going to put into place leaders whose moral compass will not be fundamentally different than either Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or Bush I, or Reagan, or Carter, or…Nixon… or Roosevelt (take your pick)…or Jackson…or Jefferson…or…

I do not believe that any of these men had the best of interest of EVERY member of their country in mind when they made the most important and far-reaching decisions of the terms.  I believe every one of them put power and money before the common good when making many history altering decisions. 

There are ultimately several other reasons why I don’t quite line up with the Tea Party crowd.

In I Samuel 8, God warns the Israelites that if they get a king he will not have the common good of the people in mind.  Even the best Israelite kings commit atrocities. 

I, like the conservative faction of the US, am not a big fan of the healthcare bill as a matter of principle.  However, to call it socialism is ridiculous and confusing (I am suspicious and at some level, somewhere, someone desires this confusion).  The bill that creates billions of dollars in debt so that the government can subsidize millions of private insurance policies, thus enriching the very companies the politicians claim they want to change, is the essence of FREE-MARKET CAPITALISM, par excellence (to borrow Zizek’s favorite way of saying things). 

Our government is not seeking and has never sought to bring capital and the means of production under its control.  On the contrary, Capital has been in the process of bringing our government under control since the Industrial Revolution.

Jesus came and in direct defiance of Caesar Augustus claimed to be the Son of God.  His early followers defied the empire by refusing to worship the emperor, and instead giving Jesus titles that by decree were only to be used by the Roman ruler: Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

You cannot serve both God and Money.

I, like the majority of the conservative faction of the US, claim to take a PRO-LIFE ethical stance.  However, pro-life means more to me than anti-abortion.  I feel like you have to be pro-ALL-LIFE in order to use the term without becoming a hypocrite.

The Tea Party loses credibility when they a) complain about the national debt, then b) claim to be pro-life, then c) support war efforts that are costing our country 3 TRILLION dollars.

Jesus says, “Love your enemy.”

I recognize that under secular political philosophy dating back to the Greeks, a government by definition has the right and the power to violently punish crime, and violently protect its own interest. 

Paul recognizes the “power of the sword” in Romans 13.  But, how can a Christian honestly adhere to the injunctions of Romans 12–do not take revenge, overcome evil by doing good, live at peace with all people, etc.–and still participate in earthly governments as described in Romans 13?

 I’m not a Republican, or Democrat, or Independent, or a Libertarian.  I am a Distributivistic, Anarcho-Liber-Agrarian Localist.

My association with Christ and His Church is really the only one that matters.  I desire to follow Jesus in the world, awaiting His return to reconcile all Creation to Himself.  I suck at it.

— — — — —

Discussion questions:

1. Do my religious views, including my hermeneutic(s), determine my political philosophy or is it the other way around?

2. How would one go about determining which comes first political views or religious ones?

3. How are my political views in my self-interest? 

4. How are my religious views in my self-interest?

5. Whatever else anyone wants to ask or comment on.

Steve Earle – Country Prophet

Who says country music can’t be beautiful, authentic or theologically inspired?

I woke up this mornin’ and none of the news was good
And death machines were rumblin’ ‘cross the ground where Jesus stood
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way
And there was nothin’ anyone could do or say

And I almost listened to him
Yeah, I almost lost my mind
Then I regained my senses again
And looked into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Well maybe I’m only dreamin’ and maybe I’m just a fool
But I don’t remember learnin’ how to hate in Sunday school
But somewhere along the way I strayed and I never looked back again
But I still find some comfort now and then

Then the storm comes rumblin’ in
And I can’t lay me down
And the drums are drummin’ again
And I can’t stand the sound

But I believe there’ll come a day when the lion and the lamb
Will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem

And there’ll be no barricades then
There’ll be no wire or walls
And we can wash all this blood from our hands
And all this hatred from our souls

And I believe that on that day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Buddy Christ: Conductor of the Great Guilt Machine

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There is a great degree of peace that comes from not only knowing who you are, but also in finding a Christian community that embraces who you are while helping you to improve your obedience to Christ.  In my personal journey of faith, I have experienced this peace most poignantly after making a transition from what has come to be known as a “low church” setting to what is called the “high church” setting.  Let’s get the formalities out of the way, first.  High church most commonly refers to how a church conducts its worship services.  They typically incorporate the church calendar into a pre-determined order of service and annual order of services.  They typically incorporate some form of worship vestments, ritual, and other such accoutrements.  They typically conduct their worship in buildings that one could consider more architecturally sacred or traditional (as much of the liturgy actually plays off the layout of the worship space).  All of this informs the “high church’s” ecclesiology and theology as well.  Just how that liturgy informs one’s theology is precisely the point of this post.

First, perhaps most importantly, I do not intend to speak pejoratively of the Low Church tradition.  I have not come to think of “low church” as meaning unsophisticated or less intellectual, which is often the case when folks use the term.  I use the terms low church and high church in their appropriate sense, as described above.  Nonetheless, there is an interesting shift in perspective that seems to have taken place in my move to the high church.  Indeed, it is the reason making the move has proven so spiritually healthy for me. 

Much of the Low Church practices what I like to call “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity.  For the sake of clarity, I am not accusing all Low Church Christians of practicing “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity.  In fact, I have healthy relationships with a number of people that seem to be able to function within the Low Church tradition without being affected by “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity.  Now, in fairness, I have many, many more friends in the Low Church that are completely and irrevocably invested in “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity.  And, frankly, it serves them well.  Until you have been part of a congregation comprised of the poorest of the poor – the dregs of society, that comes together on Sunday and rejoices that they have a Savior that is friend and brother, I am not sure you can really appreciate the value of the Low Church.  However, though I have seen plenty of my own personal poverty, I am not wired like anyone that benefits from “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity.

Here’s the inside track on “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity.  These Christians actually have a relational experience with Christ that functions in the place of deep, fulfilling human relationships.  However, if you can imagine the relational guilt and frustration that comes from having a close friend snub you, then you can understand how the Low Church brand of “Jesus is my best friend” Christianity became a toxic environment for me.

I have never felt guilt over anything like I did when I would hear friends; pastors or relatives speak of their “relationship” with Jesus.  Jesus doesn’t whisper in my ear throughout the day like my bff.  He doesn’t greet me in the morning with gentle encouragement like my wife.  He doesn’t hold me in his arms and comfort me like a parent when tragedy strikes.  Jesus isn’t my best friend.  And until I figured out how that played into who I am, I lived a guilt-ridden existence. 

I have prayed much penance, and I have performed much personal punishment, and I have cried out in anxiety on many occasions, because I was left thinking that Jesus didn’t want to be my best friend since I didn’t experience those things.  You can imagine how distressing that must be since another essential doctrine of the Low Church is how damn much Jesus loves everyone and everything, except apparently (I thought) for me.  So, needless to say, once I was able to remove myself from that environment, life got a bit better.

Consequently, the high church seems to fit who I am.  I don’t know if I have some raging, uncontrollable ego; if I am incorrigibly greedy or if I am just so stubborn (perhaps none?).  Nonetheless, I need God to be bigger than me.  I need God to be transcendent and awesome.  I need church to be sacred and the things of Christ to be holy.  I need there to be deep reverence and ceremony – not because it is “better,” “smarter,” or more “correct.”  I need those things, because that is who I am in Christ.  It is how my heart worships.  I get lost in the wonder and mystery and terror that are the worship of a holy, awesome God in a high church setting.  Jesus isn’t my buddy; he is my True Lord, my High Priest, and my Exalted King.