Sunday, April 15, 2012

Maximally Confessing Maximus the Confessor


WHEREAS current ecumenical lectionaries include Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane in the readings for Passion Sunday and Maunday Thursday, and;

WHEREAS Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer in order to teach us how to pray, and;

WHEREAS in Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane we see a crucial moment in the arrest, trial, and passion of our Lord, where he seems to waver from the betrayal and death that awaits him; and

WHEREAS we confess in the creeds that God became truly human and so possessed of the same freedom we have to follow or deny God; and

WHEREAS we confess that Jesus is at the same time truly one with God  and so possessed of perfect harmony and agreement with the will of God; and

WHEREAS the incarnation of this eternal Word admits no limit to the solidarity between God and creation in Jesus; and

WHEREAS the Gospels portray Jesus as he is in his agony for our sake to not only reflect the experience of the faithful as a teacher but also to join it; and

WHEREAS to believe, teach, or confess that Jesus only pretended to hesistate suggests he either was not fully human or that his humanity was not in community and union with the eternal God, be it

RESOLVED that Jesus did have a choice in the Garden to turn away from his mission; and further be it

RESOLVED that God’s eternal will for the salvation of the world rests on the choice made by the human Jesus in the Garden; and further be it

RESOLVED that Jesus as the incarnate Word did not have one but two wills, one human and one divine; and further be it

RESOLVED that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America commemorate Maximus the Confessor (580-662) on 21 August to recognize that his teaching of dyotheletism is a witness to the faith and is in harmony with the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions, and the experience of the faithful.

[ELCA synod assemblies routinely consider resolutions; My friend Clint Schnekloth suggested that one should be written on an obscure theological topic.  I'm not sure this is so obscure.]

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