Thank you to everyone who participated in any way with Sunday afternoon’s Advent Evensong and Pot-Luck Supper, at which I celebrated my twentieth ordination anniversary- that includes your prayers and good wishes, even if you were not able to be there. While it is always gratifying to celebrate a personal milestone, an ordination anniversary is much more than an individual event. It is a celebration of and for the whole Church. I cannot be a priest without you, the Body of Christ and the People of God. Being a priest is more about standing in the threshold between heaven and earth, between the human and divine, and pointing the way to God than it is about being the leader of a religious institution.
Garrison Keillor, the writer and radio performer says “Why do we go to Church? We go to look at the mysteries.” This means that we are connected to a reality beyond what we can see and touch, with what is true beyond the present moment, and yet not separated from it. While every time we gather for worship should be an opportunity to be drawn into the mysteries of God, sometimes it’s helpful to focus our energies and efforts and time to be open to encouragement and refreshment by the Holy Spirit. Evensong, being a service on the threshold between day and night, ancient and timeless, is particularly good at helping us to look at the mysteries. I hope and pray that Sunday afternoon was such a time for you. Certainly the music, the sermon, the Scripture readings and the candle-lit church all provided a vehicle to be drawn in by what the Psalms call “the beauty of holiness.” God’s beauty that we experience in worship is, then, what we hope to carry with us into our lives and share with others.
Thank you for a wonderful party. Most especially, thank you for being the faithful, loving, Spirited, and fun people that God made you to be. It is a joy to be your priest and your rector.
Advent 2014 ~ Days 8 & 9
A new covenant is promised which will be written in our hearts.
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-- a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
“Lo, how a rose ere blooming”
Sung by Renee Fleming and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir