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9th Sunday after Pentecost - August 7, 2022


The Collect brings back to me the memories of the General Ordination Exams that we took at the end of Seminary


The Diocese that sent me to seminary required a passing grade in all seven areas of the GOE’s in order to be ordained…


The exam was five days long that included in class exams in the morning and some afternoons and a ten page, double spaced essay written each evening. We had the weekend off so we started with three days and finished after the weekend with two…


On the last afternoon, I picked up the question… It was an essay that would allow one to be qualified in the area of ethics…


When I read the question… I knew our professor had written it… and with the fatigue I was feeling, my heart sank


The Question: What is the difference in right and wrong; good and evil?


Well really, I could not imagine that I could write a ten page paper on that AND… I had no ideas whatsoever…. Perhaps I would just die right there on the seminary lawn… five years of graduate school and this was the question…


So I first ask you to look at the Collect… I want to take a privilege that I do not have and say that I think it should read, “Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are good…good, not right.


Why… Because I came to believe those many years ago and I continue to believe today that right and wrong are learned responses from our families, from our legal system, from our place in society, from our classmates, from wrestling with the questions of right and wrong…