As Episcopalians, we have the gift of the Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer, and when faced with “compassion fatigue,” when faced with the question of whether to act or pray, when we can simply look to our baptism for the answer. The answer is both. In the Baptismal Covenant, we promise to continue in worship, fellowship, and the sacraments.
The culmination of God’s mission in the world is reconciliation, and reconciliation looks like justice and love. But the hard work of living more deeply into the love of God, the love of neighbor, and the love of self must be learned. We all have opportunities to discover how to deepen our commitments to Christ’s call, but we cannot do it alone.
I am grateful to St. Peter’s for continuing education opportunities which allow clergy and staff to participate in such conferences. Above all, I am grateful for our shared life of worship, music, and outreach: where we gather for beautifully inspiring worship, encounter God’s grace in the sacraments, and are sent out into the world to be agents of God’s kingdom and love.
Sharing in the faith of Christ does not require assenting to a set of intellectual statements. Sharing in the faith of Christ simply requires that we show up and allow our souls to be transformed by Jesus.
After witnessing the Ascension of Christ, the disciples travel to Jerusalem for the Jewish feast of Shavuot. Shavuot is a Jewish agricultural holiday, translated in ancient Greek as “Pentecost.” Gathered together for on the fiftieth day since the Lord’s resurrection, the disciples were amazed as God poured out the Holy Spirit upon them, in an episode of violent wind and fiery tongues. Saint Peter interpreted this event for those gathered and the church was born.
Ascension Day held significant meaning for the early Church who believed that the physical ascension of our Lord into heaven was a visible reminder of God’s authority in Christ. The Ascension means that God has not only raised the crucified Christ from the dead, but that God has also given the crucified Christ authority and power.
The road to Emmaus is about trusting our burning hearts and seeing Jesus along the way, in the places we least expect, and especially in the faces of our friends and neighbors. The Emmaus story is about seeing Jesus in the Eucharist, in the breaking of bread, and in the love of God that binds us into one risen body.
The gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter is the familiar story of the disciples in a locked room after Christ’s Resurrection. The Apostle Thomas is skeptical that Jesus is alive after witnessing his painful death.
In Holy Week, we witness our Lord’s suffering and death, the darkness and abandonment of the tomb, the despair of sin, rejection, and betrayal. Easter, however, leads us out of despair and into hope, out of the tomb and into new life. Read this week’s reflection.
“Be sure to come to church, because this is who we are.”