This morning at Trinity, we read this letter from our Bishop Mark Lawrence. I must first thank Mark for his faithful and bold leadership during these turbulent times and in the face of harsh opposition. You can read my brief thoughts on Resolution A049, authorizing provisional same sex blessings here. While I am deeply concerned with the conventions departure from 2000 years of the church’s clear interpretation of Scripture in this resolution and the other three mentioned in Bishop Mark’s letter, I remain more concerned that we respond in a way that honors the Gospel. In my estimation, honoring the Gospel here has four components. 1. We refuse to compromise on the truths of Scripture. 2. We pray earnestly for the church. This means we pray for Trinity, we pray for Mark, our Bishop, and we pray for TEC and the leadership we disagree with. 3. We respond with civility and charity. The Gospel tells us that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” This great display of God’s grace kills any boasting we might have. And 4. We search for the answers not in our experience or our own feelings, but in God’s Word. It has been in the study of God’s Word that I have come to hold the positions I hold on human sexuality, but it is also in the study of God’s Word that I’ve found that I am so profoundly sinful I cannot look down on anyone no matter what his or her struggle is. I cannot stress how tragic it would be if we responded to our church’s actions by resting and boasting in our own righteousness and not trusting in the righteousness of Christ and the mercy of God.