From the Rector’s Study
I prefer communicating verbally rather than on paper or social media. COVID-19 has us living differently. I hope my messages provide a spiritual lift in these troubling times. – The Rev. Bryce Sangster
Nancy Wright-DeKuyper, Christ Church Lay Reader – Forty days and forty nights….the season of Lent. But it seems that we have been living in this period for a much longer time due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. It feels much quieter for me, trying to focus on the meaning of this time, when it’s customary to give up or let go of something that matters.
Priest-in-Charge The Rev. Mary Bell-Plouffe – Last Sunday during coffee hour, we talked about the challenge of the 10 commandment passage we’d heard, and God being a jealous God,
punishing children to the 3rd and 4th generations for the sins of their parents. We wondered how that would be heard by today’s young people.
Priest-in-Charge The Rev. Mary Bell-Plouffe. – Martha was preparing supper when Eli came in from the Temple that night. Eli sat down heavily on the bench, and sighed. Martha knew her man well enough, after all these years,
to know when something was wrong.
I cannot help thinking of Henri Neuwen’s story in the “Wounded Healer”, after the verse in the psalm today, He heals the broken hearted *and binds up their wounds. Psalm147:3
Have you ever wondered what Mark meant when he writes that Jesus taught with authority? The thought is; it is with integrity. Not about academics and book learning, but relationship. Not just someone else’s understanding but own thoughts and feelings, and choices.
It seems that the phrase which sticks in people’s mind is the part; I will make you fish for people, in whatever translation they remember. But is preceded by follow me. And last we heard Jesus saying to Philip, follow me as well. So why are we rushing to the second part?
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? We know from the continuation of the story that it does. But the question for us today is; can anything good come out of what we are facing today? With the isolation and restrictions and not being able to be with loved ones in nursing homes and hospitals. This to say nothing of front line workers, their sacrifice and doing the best they can keeping grocery stores and other essential businesses open and hospitals still caring for those in need of care.
The temptation from this Gospel is to talk about how we are like Jesus, called beloved by God. But there is more to this. What do we do with being called beloved? The idea of a new world, new creation seems to be the way forward. This bringing the feelings of hope, expectation but also fear of the unknown.
I cannot help wonder how wise were the three wise men? It took a dream to warn them not to return to Herod. You might think one of the three would have a sense Herod’s motives would have been suspect. But maybe the dream was a way for them to express their discomfort about what Herod was really going to do if he found the Christ Child.