Weekly Reflection

The weekly reflection can be found in the weekly email newsletter or here on the website. 

Scroll down for this week's weekly reflection. 

Journey Towards God

9/24/21

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 21 BCP 234)

I've done a lot of running during my time in Franklin. Running around town to train for triathlons and marathons, and the Applefest 5K Race for Any Pace. I've also been running in other ways, running towards the future, running towards more support for St. John's outreach programs, running towards God. Not all of us can physically run of course, even my knees are starting to protest, but as we continue to strive in following Jesus, we grow in grace.

This coming Sunday will be my last as St. John's priest. Together we will pause in our running and reflect on the ministry of the last five years and start to imagine new futures. I expect this occasion will involve no little amounts of sorrow, anger, frustration, and joy as we acknowledge the changes going on in our community. I pray you will make some effort to be present, on Saturday night at 5, Sunday morning on Zoom, or Sunday in-person at 10.

Together we have been on a journey towards God, at various different paces. In this transition, we continue the journey towards God, even if we go in different directions. In the end, what we seek is the same, being fully alive in God. May God bless each and every one of us on our journey. Amen. 

Hold Onto God

9/16/21

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 20 BCP 234)

"while we are placed among things that are passing away" Yes, there is a lot changing in our world these days. None of us are sure about how things will look in the next month, the next year, the next decade. While we thought we had gotten the pandemic under control, we are now seeing a resurgence. While we thought we were making strides on slowing climate change, we can see by the weather-caused natural disasters that we have a long way to go. While we can acknowledge that the church needs to change too, it is hard to see it change so quickly.

The Collect of the Day prays that in the midst of all that is changing we are able to hold onto the things which endure, that is our faith, God's grace and love, and the hope of the promises God has given us. We are not walking this path alone. When we focus on the parts of our lives that cannot be taken away from us, the craziness of our lives doesn't go away, but it doesn't make us feel as overwhelmed. When we ground ourselves in God on a daily, or even hourly, basis, we can remember that the most important parts of our lives cannot be taken away from us.

So when you wake up in the morning and go about your day, strap on your faith, pack extra amounts of God's love and grace, keep in your pocket the promises of God and use them every time you need to. Stay focused on the blessings of God which cannot be taken from you. As Revelation 21:3-5a says, "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’ And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’"

God's Path

9/9/21

O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Proper 19 BCP 233)

Every year's Rally Day is different. Three years ago, we had to bring the Dino Bounce House inside the Parish Hall because of rainy weather. Two years ago, we had a hot dog luncheon on the front lawn. Last year, we had a guest pastor outside because of the pandemic. This year we will also have a guest priest with us, and we will learn more about the season of transition which is upon us.

Transition always brings out a lot of emotions in community. We know this is not new to society today, we have plenty of stories from history and the Bible which show groups of believers struggling and trusting during major transitions. They are our inspiration and guide. They prayed to God, they put their trust in God, and they listened in discernment for what God was saying in order to move forward.

When we work together and stick with our values, when we walk the path of Jesus together, we can find the goodness God has in store for us. No matter how many twists and turns our path may take, no matter how many confusing starts and stops, when we pray, trust, and listen, God will guide us. I hope you will participate in our Rally Day services this weekend and learn more about the path St. John's is walking during this season.