Click here to download a written transcript of the 2020 Bishop’s Address.
The Rt. Rev. David Reed addresses the 116th Annual Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, inviting the assembly to “Consider this Council [as giving] us the optimal lenses through which we can see more clearly—see one another, see the world, see God, see the way Jesus would have us go. Word and sacrament, music and art, friendship and work, the Church gathered and sent—all are gifts by which we might see the Lord of life come among us. Consider the life of your church—your worship, ministries, prayer, outreach, community life. All frame your vision, allowing you to see with eyes and heart lit up by the light of Christ.”
Bishop Reed welcomed the gathered clergy, delegates, and visitors as well as visiting bishops and special guests. He reflected on the events of the past year within the Diocese, the missions and ministries of our congregations, and shared a hopeful, convicting vision for the year, and years, to come.
In the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been born anew to a living hope. There is a promised new heart for us, the promise echoing back to Ezekiel when God says, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of you the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27) And this new heart, this new life, brings with it eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to love. “With the eyes of our hearts enlightened” by the power of his resurrection, Jesus invites us to get up and follow, walking in love, keeping our eyes open—not just for the obvious beauty and goodness that surrounds us on every side, if we’ll only slow down enough to notice—but also looking more deeply for the beauty and goodness of God’s amazing grace and saving movement, even in the least likely places, in the least likely people, and even in us.
Bishop Reed concluded his address, inviting everyone present to pray together from Psalm 36.
“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,*
And your faithfulness to the clouds.
How priceless is your love, O God!*
Your people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
They feast upon the abundance of your house;*
You give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the well of life,*
And in your light we see light.”