Sunday, July 26, everyone was invited to All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 895 Main Street, West Newbury, for an outside service beginning at 10am to celebrate our Patron, Saint James. Click here for the service bulletin. Here is a recording of that service: https://youtu.be/shNc-zXqOyI.
Our country and her people are currently suffering from multiple tragedies simultaneously. With over 1 million people infected with Coronavirus, more than 100,000 fatalities from this disease, and the on-going fear and anxiety associated with this disease; millions unemployed and a spiraling economy; the horrific killing of George Floyd and the violence and brutality that is continuing to take place in the wake of this killing; our country is reeling as we cry out, “Lord have mercy.”
In the last few weeks, I have been drawn back to the Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-17:26) given by Jesus the night before His crucifixion as I feel, in so many places this discourse speaks to our current times. One aspect of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse that He stresses several times is that though He is returning to God and will no longer be with us in bodily form in the world, we must continue His work in the world. The Discourse begins with the New Commandment in which Jesus shows that we continue in this world filled by His love, we continue in this world with the shared responsibility to show this love to all others, we continue in this world bound together by love.
Our nation, our world, is hurting, is bleeding, is suffering; however, through Christ true healing can be found. As Jesus sent the disciples out into the world together to live the Gospel, so He sends us all out together, to live the Gospel, part of which is the healing balm of God. We are all the image of Jesus Christ in this world, He is in us as He promised us, and we can bring His healing grace to our world today.
We can share in this healing ministry first and foremost by remembering we are called, commissioned, commanded by Him to love and to share His love, which is rooted deep within us, with each other. He has drawn us into the sacred bond that exists between us all, the bond that we are His beloved, and that in Him we find our common humanity; in Him our differences, our beautiful differences, find their unity.
In this time and in all times, my sisters and brothers, you remain in my daily thoughts and prayers, you remain in my heart.
Yours in Christ,
Click here to read a letter from Fr John, written on May 15, 2020.