Beloved St. John’s community,
This past Sunday was such an incredibly beautiful, moving, and meaningful time together at Beard’s Plaisance! One hundred and twenty-five people came to celebrate Holy Eucharist and four baptisms. We took many, many extra precautions to minimize risk, the most important of which were that everyone wore masks at all times, stayed six feet apart, and we did not exchange physical materials except for a very few that were handed out by ushers wearing gloves. I have heard from many of you that this experience truly fed your souls. We sat near a gorgeous maple tree in full incandescent fall colors under a brilliant blue sky, and met Christ in one another and in the sacrament. Thank you with all my heart.
This time continues to be full of contradiction. I don’t need to tell you about the difficult things happening in our personal and communal lives. Yet the Way of Jesus has always not only survived, but thrived, in difficult times. This is because at the heart of our faith is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. I’m not interested in the question of whether we should understand the resurrection literally; let other people have those debates. For us, this symbol—that nothing, literally no violence or hatred or oppression, can defeat the love and life of God—is the heart of what we call the “gospel”, the good news. And in our baptisms, and each time we remember them, we spiritually unite with Christ to “die and rise again” — to let go of the old and embrace the new life that God is bringing about, and affirm that no force on earth can separate us from the love of Christ. And because of this, we can persevere. We can have a resilience beyond any imaginable ability any of us have.
What are YOU most struggling with today, as you read this? For me, it is many things. If you wish, I’d invite us all to imagine placing these things at the foot of the cross: to surrender them to the overwhelming love of God. Remember, that at the level of quantum physics, there are mysterious forces of connection even across the vast expanses of interstellar space. Perhaps these connections are a physical manifestation of the love of God, which binds us all together, whether we want to be or not. Therefore, in the fabric of creation–the interconnected love of God–let each and every thought, word, and deed of ours be for the sake of healing and love. Let resentment, fear, hatred and violence die with Christ; let kindness, resilience, courage and love be born in their place.