By the time this issue of the magazine is in your hands, the fate of health-care reform may have been decided by Congress. The legislative process, like the proverbial production of sausage, is not neat or pretty. If a bill passes, it will not be all the Obama administration hoped for and it will be a lot more than the Republican opposition wants.
While I never suffered the childhood trauma of parents getting divorced, I know as an adult what it is like to suffer with a divided family. That is because I am an Episco palian. As everyone knows—the late-night arguments and breaking of dishes have been audible since spring 2003—the Episcopal Church teeters on the edge of a breakup.
The oneness of the church—one Lord, one faith, one baptism—is as integral to being a part of Christ’s body as receiving the sacrament of bread and wine. In Romans 14 Paul is writing to a broken body of people.
Many of you may be asking why a former politician is giving a Bible lecture to an assembly of highly qualified Christian leaders. My only credential is experience. I began teaching Bible lessons as a young midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, and have continued this practice for the past 62 years—now as a deacon at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.
A person’s final words are important. When they are out of character or trivial, we remember them with some embarrassment. Elvis Presley, for example, supposedly said, “I’m going to the bathroom to read.” Well-spoken words, on the other hand, provide a fitting conclusion to a life and encouragement for those who remain.