Sunday, December 24, 2006

Episcopal Trial By Fire

It's not what you think.

A dear friend from seminary let us know -- in a comment on the site -- about the Third Sunday in Advent excitement at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, in San Diego. Somebody tried to torch the place ... wait for it ... during the service.

The apparent arsonist succeeded in destrying the ladies' loo (I believe that's the Anglican word; we Lutherans use something less printable), and doing about $100,000 in damage. But nobody was hurt, and Christmas services will take place as planned.

So what happened here? Oh, it could have been some sort of political protest -- not very effective, because not at all articulate. Or a genuine attempt to commit mass murder, no pun intended.

But the most likely explanation is that a very, very disturbed person was working out some psychological issues that the rest of us will never understand. That person clearly needs help, and lots of it. Which we hope he or she gets from inside the appropriate penal institution.

Meanwhile, keep the people of St. Paul's in your prayers tonight. I will.


Gillian said...

The Bishop used the fire as the leitmotif of his Christmas Eve sermon. The overall gist was that the safe and orderly and care-full evacuation, followed by distributing Communion on the street, and the emotions it all provoked, became a symbol of God's presence in the midst of vulnerability, danger and violence. He then traced that theme, from the birth of Jesus in a cowstall--announced to the migrant workers of the day rather than to the rich and famous--forward to the present,w/ a second theme of "distributing love to the world." It was well done. If it shows up online I'll post a link.

Gillian said...

Here is the Bishop's sermon: