Sunday, June 17 2018
Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Collect for Proper 6 Year B)
On most days of my job, I come into contact with a person that is having a difficult time in their life. It might be a homeless person, a recovering addict, a person that just lost their job, a recently divorced person, someone who has received a dire medical diagnosis, a person suffering from depression, or someone who has lost a dear friend or family member. I sometimes wonder how God can allow all the suffering in the world. My best understanding is that God doesn’t cause pain, but gives us strength to endure it.
The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have shown a spotlight this week on the pain that many people are feeling. I had quite a bit of time to think about how disconnected our culture has become from the wellspring of life that is a source of joy and contentment. For me, hiking in Norway connected me to God and creation. Going to church and praying every day, keeps me in relationship with Jesus Christ. Church is more important than ever, because each of us needs to be connected to God and one another.
In today’s lessons, we are asked to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith for me is my connection to the Creator and all creation. I believe with all my heart that God loves every person that comes to me for help and that God can give anyone the strength to get through those difficult times that we all face in our lives. It is important in our busy lives to stay grounded in God throughout our lives. It is important to look after one another.
My prayer for everyone that is reading this chalice is that you will draw closer to the one who gave his life for you that you might have abundant life in him. We are part of the Jesus Movement in the Episcopal Church because, we believe that Christ came to show us the way, the truth and the life. We need God and one another to stay healthy and to have strength to face those difficult times that will undoubtedly come to each one of us.
Please enjoy your vacations this summer and remember to pray and give thanks in our good times and in our bad times. Proclaim the Gospel boldly by word and deed and do justice with compassion. God loves you dearly and we are blessed to have such a wonderful community at St. John’s. I also ask you to keep Deacon Anthony in your prayers while he is away at seminary this week.
In Christ’s love,