Sunday, May 26 2019
"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity
Last Saturday I did the memorial service for Mildred Wehr. She lived 109 years and remained a faithful member of this parish until she was taken to eternal glory. One of the hardest things to deal with in our lives is the fact that we live in a temporal world. Our bodies will not last forever, those whom we love and love us will be separated from us one day, and everything we see will eventually fade away. As we age, we constantly hope to look and feel younger, but time will catch up with us. As difficult as it seems, one day we will witness the funeral of our loved ones or they will witness ours. When we see a beautiful flower on the altar, its beauty can only be captured in that moment. Two weeks later, that flower will be compost in the soil. Jesus offers us a look beyond the temporal life that we live. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. We don’t have to wait for the death of a loved one to understand that everything is passing away in this world.
A deepening relationship with Jesus Christ is the path to the eternal. We can get a glimpse of the eternal by loving as we have been loved, giving generously of ourselves, forgiving as we have been forgiven, being thankful for everything we receive, and living life with joy in our hearts. We are Easter people because we live in the hope of the resurrection. We know that Jesus died for our sins and conquered death that we might live abundantly. Abundant life is not something we have to wait for, but is offered to us right now. In his Farewell Discourse, Jesus is telling us that he will soon be ascending to our God in heaven, but that we can get a glimpse of eternal life through faith, prayer, and action. John teaches a realized eschatology. Walk with Jesus in this life and the next and you will live in Hozho (peace, balance, beauty and harmony).
This past week our vestry had a mutual ministry workshop. They realized that everything we do centers around how we bring the light of Christ into our midst. The vestry has summarized our core values at St. John’s. Maybe you can think of another core value and send it to Coral.
Welcoming, Hospitality, Diversity, Warmth, Respect, Acceptance, Incorporation, Encouragement to Participate, Nourishing the Body and Soul, and Strong Lay Leadership.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 1:12-17)
In Christ’s love,