We are now beyond the pale and the media tell us some of the primates meeting in Northern Ireland had a dinner to celebrate the occasion; I hope the menu did not include oysters Rockefeller or lobster thermidor because “Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is an abomination …” (Leviticus 11:12)
What comes to mind is the little-known story of Eldad and Medad, found in Numbers 11; it is a story some of those prelates would do well to ponder.
Moses took 70 elders of Israel to the tent of meeting, so that the Lord could take some of the spirit which was upon Moses and anoint the elders, who would then assist in the governance of the people. But word came to Moses that Eldad and Medad, who were not among the 70, were back home and indeed prophesying. Joshua, intransigent as ever and probably robed in purple, demanded that Moses take action to suppress this unauthorized activity, but Moses, wise man, replied, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets. ”
We should take courage from this; no one can organize a meeting and guarantee the exclusive presence of the Spirit; all one can be sure of is the independence of the Spirit, who calls, gives voice and insight to unlikely people in unlikely places. And, however unlikely, it is not utterly beyond the bounds of possibility that the Spirit moves, gives voice and insight in North America.