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. 

God's Almighty Cleaning

7/30/21

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 13 BCP 232)

I have loved living in St. John's Rectory the last five years. However, I am not always thrilled about having to clean it. Eight bedrooms, two staircases, three bathrooms, lots of spaces for dust and bugs and random stuff to collect and make a mess. Cleaning can be a specific process. Sometimes I forget this fact and dust after I have cleaned the floors and then realize I got dust all over the floors again. Cleaning takes time and energy and attention to the details. The wood floors need the wood floor cleaner, not the kitchen vinyl floor cleaner. Thankfully though, I do feel happier after everything is clean and neat and smelling fresh.

The Collect for this coming Sunday uses the metaphor of the Lord cleansing the Church. Somehow I don't think the original authors were referring to the Church building. The word in Greek they used was 'ekklesia', meaning the assembly, the congregation, the people. We will be praying for God to cleanse us! While our buildings and homes need cleaning on a regular basis, our spiritual lives do too. Even in our spiritual lives, dust and grime and little shadows can crop up and cause issues.

Thankfully, God, as Jesus did in the Temple, is willing to clean us out. God comes into us as the Holy Spirit with wind and fire to blow and burn away everything that no longer is helpful. God's spiritual cleaning does require time and energy and attention to detail, but in the end, we are so much better for it. While transition times are always difficult, now is the time to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts for some spiritual cleansing. Come, Lord, and make us clean! 

God is our Protector

7/22/21

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 12 BCP 231)

God is our protector. God protects us from evil in this world. However, God does not protect us from the consequences of our own mistakes, our own failures of justice or relationship. God will protect us from the real power of death, but God will not stop us from all the little deaths which lead us to greater life in Christ. God is our protector, and will always protect us from true evil, but God will not protect us from our own freedom of choice. God gave us free will as a gift after all!

After the last few years learning ever more about the inequality of different people in our county, my understanding of who and what is protected in our world has changed. Unfortunately many of our systems protect injustice, allowing racial, sexual, gender, and ability based discrimination to be freely practiced. What one person may consider protection for themselves and others like them, may be destructive to others who differ from them.

Yes, God is our protector. God protects us, but God also protects those who are very different than us. Frequently in the Gospels, Jesus asks his disciples to protect and care for those who are less protected by the systems of civilization. We are called to be protectors as well. Protectors of others, protectors of justice and love in this world. When we close our eyes to the systems of injustice in our country, we are failing our calling. God is our protector, but not from our own mistakes. Our mistakes are lessons we need to learn. 

Fountain of All Wisdom

7/15/21

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Proper 11 BCP 231)

Franklin has a beautiful fountain. It is gracefully proportioned and placed in the center of a lovely park. It shows up in pictures for all types of personal celebrations: weddings, graduations, proms, family gatherings, Saturday morning playdates. It is always giving, that is, when it is turned on. The water flows from top to bottom and around again. Throwing out water no matter who is around. In the wind, it sprays the rich and the homeless. It is a focal point, not hidden, out and available for all.

Fountains are lovely images for metaphors. God, as the fountain of all wisdom, as many similarities as our Egbert Memorial Fountain. God is part of all of our personal celebrations, even when we forget God is in the background. God is always giving, to the rich to the poor, to the lonely and those with lots of connections. God is not hidden, is available to all, and flows in ways we cannot always see. God does not make us partake in God's wisdom, just as the fountain doesn't require you to look at it, but it is there and available.

I hope you'll stop and take a look at the fountain in the park this week. How many times have you passed by it without seeing it lately? How often have you missed God in your life because you weren't paying attention? God, the fountain of all wisdom, has wisdom to share with you, ready and available.