In a world filled with poverty, division, war, hatred, and cruelty, it is difficult to credibly hold onto the promise of Jesus that the meek will inherit the earth. When human history seems only to demonstrate our unerring drive for power, when the enlightenment promise of inevitable human progress towards utopia has turned to ashes in our hearts, it feels almost absurd to cling to the promise of Jesus to be not afraid or to believe that God is love. What evidence can we point to for this mythology of grace? It is irrational to hold on to the Faith built upon the promise that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Yet here I am, choosing to trust in the promises of Jesus, the one who was always merciful, compassionate, and gave himself sacrificially in love to all who came to him for help. If it is madness to believe it, then I will gladly be called a madman, because I have this one hope in my life….
That love wins.
After all is said and done, after the worst that we can do to each other, love will astonish us and redeem us. All of my hope is built on this one promise …
Love will win.
I step out into the enveloping night, and am greeted by the voluptuous scent of purple phlox, languid and dreamy. The trilling of the tree frogs, the cadence of the crickets, the staccato of the bat flying overhead; all lie under blanket of glimmering, seeming silent stars. And the bright moon, shining softly overhead, whispers "Hush your mind, go to sleep my beloved, go to sleep; for the morrow comes only to soon, with sorrows and joys yet unwritten."
Fr. Troy Beecham
Sitting outside on a cool summer’s night; the grass is wet and cool on my bare feet. The dogs are nosing about in the lilies, and an errant bat is busy catching night insects on the wing. A shooting star flashed brightly overhead just under the elbow of the bright moon.
In strange counterpoint, the skies are echoing to the thunder and crackle of fireworks. From where I sit, in safety, I know that my fellow Americans are celebrating with laughter and joy the independence of this nation, the fireworks but the playful, colorful reflections of much darker times.
I am grateful for my ancestors who fought for liberty in the storied tale of their struggle for freedom from tyranny so long ago. I pray for those, who even this night, struggle for freedom in other lands, under the same moon, who’s skies thunder and crackle not in happy memory but with dreadful purpose.
May the LORD God grant true and lasting peace to all peoples, and may the kingdom of God dawn upon us in our days. Amen.
Today the Church celebrates the Festival Day of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The central point of meaning of the bodily ascension of Jesus is his exaltation, or as is proclaimed in the Nicene Creed “He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.” It is interpreted more broadly as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, marking the completion of Jesus’ physical presence among his apostles and consummating the union of God and humankind.
With Jesus having ascended to the Father, who sent him to be incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the blessed virgin Mary, he who remains incarnate may now also be universally present through the Holy Spirit to all peoples, everywhere, without end.
We rejoice that the Savior of the world sits now in the heavenly places so that he may also live forever in the heart of each of us, and where he ever intercedes for us.
And so, today, we pray especially for the loving presence of Jesus to be with all of those throughout the world who live in nations beset by war, famine, poverty, slavery, and ethnic hatred, that his kingdom of peace will come among us today, to heal the human family and finally unite us together in him in endless joy, peace, and love.
Today the Church commemorates the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would bear a child, the Son of God, who would be the savior of the world.
So much depended on her saying “Yes”. May we all have such faith to say “Yes”, that Jesus will be born in us, as well.
The power of worshipping the Lord together in Choral Evensong