I love to read the sermons of the Rev. Fleming Rutledge, who was one of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. I have all but the most recent of her sermon collections, God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament (Eerdmans 2011). That’s an embarrassing oversight that will soon be corrected. In the meantime, I learned from another Episcopal priest who serves on the staff of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Virginia, that Fleming Rutledge preached there last Sunday. He wrote that she commented on the publicity surrounding a fragmentary text which some believe suggests that Jesus may have been married and which was also the subject of my last post:
All this popular disputation about marginal issues in marginal texts is using up all the oxygen in the Church. Let the specialized scholars battle that out. Non-canonical Gnostic texts are nothing to be afraid of, but they do not contain living water . . . Living water is this: Jesus Christ is Lord.