What we desire…what we need…
What we long for.
A wise priest said to me a few weeks ago, that the greatest travesty of Covid has been our being apart…we are a people who gather and everything else confirms that truth. I agree.
Lockdown 4 has been hard for me and I know others. Getting back into my stride, as restricted as it was, for those months since last August, put a sense of hope and purpose back into my priestly ministry. Sitting, talking, listening, worshipping, praying, enabling. All these things part of our ‘being’ and action in the life of a community of faith.
We are a relational people, and in our being a community of faith, we make sense of this historically and culturally by the very in person journeying we have done so well for generations. Not always smooth sailing, but with a commitment to be the body of Christ, functionally, publicly, missionally together and in the world.
We have built significant neighborhood friendships. Our neighbours keep an eye out to protect our place of worship. One neighbour, as an act of kindness hand shovelled the snow off the footpaths up to the church’s front door one Sunday, so that attendees could access church safely. We fed 65 people take out Christmas dinners in the immediate area. Imagine! The neighborhood speaks more and more of the goodwill that exists, and that speaks highly of our ability to be kind and hospitable and importantly, mindful of people beyond the faith community. A good first step in good old fashioned evangelism.
Each of us has an important purpose according to the gift we bring to God’s church. Some are called to the responsibilities of leadership, others to practical help, to praying and administration, to conversation, visiting, study, music and the wisdom and observances of years.
In the case of Christ Church, we are called corporately to being an expression of Anglicanism in our Christian walk and faith, and that our 3 legged stool of ‘faith, reason and tradition’ offers us a balanced view and foundation in which we can in all our enthusiasm and awkwardness begin the journey as we focus on the words and ministry of Jesus given to us in the gospels and our founding forbears, disciples, apostles, the saints, writers and our friends in the here and now to deepen that journey and seek the meaning, justice, freedom, friendship and the love to which we are called.
Sometimes, it takes enormous courage, and there are moments when we understand the pain of the crucifixion by our persistence and holding fast to that which we believe, know and understand in our personal walk with Jesus.
Jesus said to his disciples, I no longer call you servants, but friends. There is an enduring truth that we continue to serve one another and God. We can do this as friends. And with all that’s been said, we know, that each of us has the gift of purpose to be part of the citizenship of the here on earth and in time the citizenship of heaven where we finally find that complete peace which passes all understanding.
I miss you all dearly, but comforted by your prayers and occasional conversation and still with great hope and anticipatory joy of our first gathering in the months to come.
My the peace and love of Christ, come amongst us and be with us all.