We are helping with a video project at our church. It has been a joy to hear stories of the faith journeys of others. We all came from different directions, both in time, place and basic beliefs.
Yet, in the fullness of God’s time, we were drawn together by one thing … God’s Love … expressed in personal ways by people who knew love and were encouraged to love.
The 86 year old man interviewed this week has had a rich variety of life experiences. When asked what the church meant to him, he said, with tears in his eyes, “When I first went there, I felt like I was home.”
When we first discovered Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, we felt Love expressed in big and small ways.
As with those we are interviewing, we have felt seen, acknowledged, remembered and valued … somehow loved by people who did not know us, and yet through God’s Love gave us what we needed.
We felt acceptance, not only of the people we now are, but also the people we once were and the people we will become.
This is the most diverse community we have ever experienced. When we look at each other, we can see significant differences that could separate us.
And yet when we all look at God and see each other as He sees us, we are mysteriously drawn together as one.
Many of us came from different church backgrounds. Jay and I have had a diverse spiritual journey. We never envisioned ourselves in a cathedral full of rich traditions. We thought tradition, like the physical building itself, would be restraining and outdated.
But we were surprised by a beauty that calls for the hidden beauty within us.
We were awed by The Power of the simple reading of God’s Word without someone interpreting it for us.
We were comforted by the reading of words written long ago by those who have gone before us. We were caught up in unity with them, repeating The Truths, joining with voices once heard on earth and now speaking from Heaven.
While some have enjoyed the experience of being gathered together in one place on Sundays, others of us have had to continue modified participation that keeps us out of closed spaces with large groups of people.
Beyond being drawn into the church, the church has been willing to reach out beyond its walls. We have had the joy of home visits, flowers from the altar delivered to the door, cards of encouragement, and soon being able to participate in communion through a Eucharist Visitor.
Even though we are a part of the vulnerable population who must avoid larger groups, I miss worshipping in the church. This week we did go to the church and visited one on one with people.
We then enjoyed a time of private reflection and worship in the sanctuary. I sang a song of heartfelt gratitude to God at the altar.
I did it as a child of God who is oh so grateful for His Faithfulness and just felt the desire to tell Him so again in song.
I invite you to see some of the beauty of the church. It is my way of bringing it beyond its walls to you.
I invite you to come in with joy and go out in peace!
Praise to Him, Who is The Alpha and The Omega, The One Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, The Almighty!