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. 

Palm Sunday

4/3/20

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday)

Whenever a big event happens in our lives, time seems to stop. I have heard from many on social media and over the phone that it doesn't seem possible that Palm Sunday is this coming Sunday. For most of us, we are still trying to sort out the end of March. Yet, life is continuing on and the story of God continues on as well.

This coming week is Holy Week, the week in which we walk with Jesus Christ on his way from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the Passover meal to the betrayal of his friend and his suffering and eventual death and hopeful resurrection. We know the story, we know the suffering, we know the journey. However we also know that every year we experience this journey differently, and this year might be an especially different journey. We are in the midst of global suffering, through illness and fear. Yet, this time of Holy Week and the story which we journey through ultimately leads to salvation, to good for all humankind.

This journey reminds me of the second part of verse 5 from Psalm 30: "Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning." There will eventually be a great dawning and with it will come joy, gladness, and peace. First, though, we must walk with Jesus, through all the pain and suffering in humility.

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Third Sunday of the Coronavirus Shutdown

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Fifth Sunday in Lent BCP 219)

 

"Among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found..." The original author of the Collect for this coming Sunday lived near Paris during the 750's AD. Twelve hundred years ago, and this sentiment has not changed! The changes of this world are swift and varied! We have been feeling those changes in our lives daily for the last two weeks as the Coronavirus Pandemic has spread, ever closer to our small town.

 

This is one of the comforting things about the history and tradition of Christianity. While what we are experiencing is fear-inducing and isolating, we are not the first, and we won't be the last generation of Christians to be pulled by the swift and varied changes of the world. We are in a great community of saints, many of whom have gone through challenging times in their own lives and the life of the world. Together, even from afar, we are able to stand in faith and share the journey.

 

The Collect for this coming Sunday prays for our hearts to be fixed where true joys are to be found: in God with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When our hearts rest in God's hands, we are grounded in ways nothing in the world can change. Today, find your grounding in God. Fix your heart on the heart of God, knowing that God loves you no matter what. Take some time to feel yourself grounded in your faith in God. When the world changes again tomorrow, which it will do, you can know where you truly stand, with God.

Lent is for Everyone

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Fourth Sunday in Lent BCP 219)

 

Lent has always been a season of giving up, reflecting, slowing down, and connecting with God. This year, however, it seems we have been given no choice in participating in Lent. We have all given up things and activities we love right now. We have all been asked to slow down by staying at home and staying healthy. Whether we reflect on our lives or spend time connecting to our families or God, well, that is up to us. I hope many of you are taking this opportunity to try out something new, in terms of virtual worship, family devotion time, or reading a new spiritual book.

 

Sadly, while we cannot have Eucharist together this week, Jesus still offers us the gift of true bread. There are many ways in which Jesus visits us in our daily lives and offers us gifts of sustenance. While many things seem bleak about our current situation, there are also many good things going on in our world right now. People are reaching out in new ways to help each other. Spring is bursting forth all around us, from the crocuses to the tulip leaves to the new buds starting on the trees. Scientists are making new discoveries and advances all the time. As Mr. Rogers' mother so kindly reminds all of us, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" God offers us sustenance to get through the day, and this time of upheaval, through creation, through each other, through connection to Jesus.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need some assistance. I am praying for our community every day, and am trying to find ways to connect our community through online worship, reflections, and prayer. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help you.