That's not my Jesus (there's not enough love)

Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet thinks Jesus would have women bishops

That’s not my Jesus (there’s not enough love)

a short reflection on women bishops by Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet

(originally published on her blog November 2012)

I am heartbroken by this week’s decision not to have women bishops. Not because I’m a raving feminist – which of course I am – and not because I harbour any ambitions to inhabit Lambeth Palace - which I don’t – though I do know a few women who could and should. No I’m heartbroken because the people who don’t know my Jesus will look at this decision and feel either vindicated that they have never got to know him or vindicated that they have left him and his church behind in their youth.

My Jesus, were he back on earth, would not, I am sure, be spending his time agonising about the gender of his church’s leaders or indeed the sexuality of those who worship there. No my Jesus, the one I know, would be berating his church for their lack of focus on what matters – love – true, wonderful, sacrificial love, empathy, charity, peace, understanding and – did I say it already – love? My Jesus would be weeping at the chances of renewal that have been lost by a church alienating the people with its stubborn obsession with gender and sex; weeping that we are spending too much time policing the temple and not enough time looking for and caring for the lost sheep.

And so that’s why my heart aches. And my prayer for this country is that they can see past this broken, foolish collection of fallen human beings who make odd decisions, and that somehow, through God’s grace, the people of the UK will find my Jesus, who will meet them whoever and wherever they are, whatever their gender or sexuality. Who will forgive them, inspire them and yes, of course, love them – and in loving them, help them to love others. That’s my Jesus.

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