With all the craziness and sadness hovering over the church today, a touch of grace was welcome... and God provided.
With vactation coming up, I have been lining up both clergy and lay ministers to lead Sunday services in my absence. One of my lay preachers (he works in prisoner rehabilitation - see "Glory House" in my useful links) came in so I could have a look at his sermon idea...
I almost cried for joy.
He is preaching on Mark's account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 folks, which comes up in a few Sundays. Right in the middle of his message, he makes the point that Jesus, the disciples and even the crowd were all in distress and despair over the news that John the Baptist had been executed. For the crowd in particular, it seemed as if the one voice of long-absent prophecy had been silenced.
Yet right in the middle of that miserable news, the miracle happens by the power of Christ. (And, I would add, Jesus and his disciples promptly get back in their boats and right back to work preaching the Good News).
Thank you, Father. Despite my unworthiness, despite all the ways that my sins, flaws, failures and limitations have contributed to the corruption and decline of The Episcopal Church, your Spirit brings an encouraging word and turns me back toward the compassion and power of your Son, Jesus Christ.