Today’s Antiphon from the Rite for Evening Prayer (Anglican Prayer):
Alleluia. The Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the earth: Come let us adore him. Alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord, blowing where it will, renews not only the face of the earth but the faces on the earth, the faces of the earth. This is worthy of adoration.
There is renewal of that which has been forgotten and should never have been. Renewal of that which is held in oppression when the yoke is lifted and that which was enslaved returns to its pristine natural vigor. There is renewal as new creation, re-newing everything that was prior to the truly new.
Christian Ethics and the spiritual/religious path more broadly conceived should fundamentally be about renewal and re-creation. It is too often about power, prestige, and place. Far too often concerned not with renewal–which may mean letting things die a natural death so others can take its place–but rather with conservation (in the negative sense). Holding on past time.
But renewal without adoration becomes too easily the false idolatrous spirit of progressivism and worse revolutionary fervor and worse still violence. Change for change’s sake, meeting the new boss whose the same as the old boss, is no answer, no virtue, religious or otherwise.
It is the Spirit of that Lord that renews. Not our self-centered limited-view initiatives. Only our action guided by the Spirit, in concert with the Spirit, only that renews the face of the earth and the faces, the children of the earth.
Else we begin to glorify/adore ourselves, our false masks and bent images.
We shout Alleluia even before this confession that the Spirit renews because we see and feel it before the words arrive. And afterwards out of thanks. If the Spirit did not renew, there would be no hope. No possibility for redemption, liberation, or sanctification.
Come all of us, let us adore together.