View from the Rectory
Isn’t this a great way to see our faith? We are the people of the Resurrection every day, not just Easter Day or the 50 days of our Easter Season. Christians celebrate 365 days of God’s great gift -- breaking down the doors of sin and death and leaving in its place the Spirit and his Peace. Now, the Peace of Christ is a deceptive thing… you may think of peace as a quiet, restful, state of being with the gentle song of birds twittering in the background on a perfect sunny day. Christ’s Peace is bigger than that! The Peace of Christ is much more important and complex than a fleeting perfect moment...Although, I will say those moments are more richly seen and appreciated by a person who is able to see God at work in them. No, Christ’s Peace is that gift of knowing how much God loves all God has created -- including us in our most joyful and most broken moments. The blessing of 365 days of Easter is working out what it means to have Resurrection set loose in the world, in the church, and in our lives.
The view from the rectory ~ (from Rev. Erin's Ash Wednesday sermon)
Our season of intentional contemplation as we look forward to Easter. Thomas Merton reminds us that the original meaning of Lent was “the ver sacrum, the Church’s ‘holy spring’ in which the catechumens were prepared for their baptism, and public penitents were made ready by penance for their restoration to the sacramental life in a communion with he rest of the church. Lent is then, not a season of punishment so much as one of healing.” (Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, 113).
Leading up to Ash Wednesday you probably encountered quite a few conversations that began with the question… “What are you giving up for Lent this year?” or the more modern, “What will you take up?”
As I talk, take time to reflect on how you’ve approached lent this year… and about what it means to you to be on this journey.
As important as the practices we take up or the choice we make to refrain from something is our purpose. Often forgotten in the tradition… forgotten in “this is what we’ve always done,” is the
consideration that comes before …
Just why are we taking this spiritual pilgrimage in the first place?
It is, after all, a pilgrimage.
A spiritual journey that when done prayerfully will allow us to daily re-commit ourselves to the Christian story.
And, if we take up this pilgrimage with intention…. with prayer and personal humility, as Matthew’s Gospel suggests, we will have the tremendous privilege of discovering God at the centre.
God is patiently waiting for us to stop
To enter into the wilderness of our own chaotic rush to the next thing in our day and just stop and let God in for a moment.
...Say a prayer and discover that Christ is there, at the centre of our lives where the living Word has always been,
A pilgrimage needs to be entered into with thought.
For one thing, we need to know where we are going and
Why we are going there
But a pilgrim also realizes the he or she is very likely to discover something unexpected along the way and to be changed by the journey’s end
A pilgrim, in other words, is seeking a deeper connection to God. And this is what lent is about. It was true for Christ in the wilderness and it can be true for us today.
How can we do that? What are some ways into the wilderness that is lent?
You may have already discovered that the temptations are great and, that as I mentioned, prayer might be something you are doing more often.
So why keep praying the same things? Running in circles, and missing God in the center?
What if we change our prayer lives just a bit so the door to our own unfolding can be opened?
This Lent, why not add in a seeker’s prayer… a pilgrim’s prayer?
Ask God to enter into your life
Then watch for him in the people you meet.
Or Perhaps you might discover something in your life that needs closer examination.
For some, God may be calling you into a new way of being in relationship with Christ and then with others in your life.
As every pilgrim discovers, even though we are taking this journey through Lent together …our discoveries will be different for each of us. God is waiting for us to discover who we are in the resurrected Christ by the end of our journey.
It is not easy to enter each of these 40 days with such prayerful intent but I encourage you to challenge yourself to do so and to add a seeker’s prayer to your morning routine.
Here are a couple of short beginnings to help you enter Lent with prayer and intention:
First a pilgrim’s prayer:
Teach us, O God , to view our life here on earth as a pilgrim’s path to heaven, and give us grace to tread it courageously in the company of your faithful people.
And, in closing… a snippet from a poem by John O’Donohue --
I would love to live like the river flows…Carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.
May 22, 2013
From the Rector
Praying your kids through Chaos (outside link)
Check out the Links Page for our 2013 Faith and Fitness Challenge
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News and information about the who we are and what we believe in the Episcopal Church can be found at the national Episcopal Church website. A great place to start is the "I am an Episcopalian" page. Here you can see the diversity and inclusive nature that is characteristic of our Church. If you have more questions Rev. Erin is always happy to meet anyone who is interested, for coffee or just a chat! Just call the Church office to make an appointment 508-842-6040.