Sunday

7:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite I (In-person only)

10:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist Rite II (both in-person and online via FB & YouTube)

Tuesday

7:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite II (In-person only)

9:00 p.m. – Compline (online via FB)

Thursday

12:05 p.m. – Healing Eucharist, Rite II (In-person only)

9:00 p.m. – Compline (online via FB)

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A Message from Duncan- March 26, 2024

A Message from Duncan- March 26, 2024

Roll Away The Stone

There were times when I thought the Christian life was a joyless sack of crushing burdens.  ‘Don’t do this, refrain from that, resist the urge, deny the flesh.’  That’s what I believed.  Don’t do the things you want to do.  And those things you don’t want to do – good deeds, putting yourself out for others or for God, standing up for victims, going to church even – yes, those things, well do them.

My early Christian years were dominated by the unspoken belief that if there was some fun to be had, God must be against it; and if there was anything I’d find unpleasant, unattractive, or uninteresting then God would surely want me to commit to it.  Very occasionally, even now, that blasphemy will still slip unexpectedly into my soul with a ball and chain, clamp it firmly around my joy, and drag it into melancholy.  I say it is blasphemy because it is based on a belief about  God that is false – a god who is a harsh taskmaster, a ruthless judge.

Yes, of course, following Christ, as we remind ourselves, especially in Lent, involves self-denial and crosses.  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”  And those words of Jesus sting and seer and wound.  Our egos are lacerated, our pride is scorched.  Our self-interest is torn off the throne it has usurped and is put in its place.  We get it.  So we assume that serving God is drudgery, obeying his commands is a burden.

But Lent is about to end.  It’s nearly Easter – the season of Resurrection: new life, new joy, and expansive love.

Actually, is living life to please yourself really all it’s cracked up to be?
Does self-interest genuinely result in joy of heart and peace of mind?
Is throwing off all constraints of morality and ethics really the way to happiness?
Does turning your head away from the needs of others and the suffering of a broken world help you feel good about yourself?

The way of the cross is the path to crucifying our sinful natures, but it is also the road of Resurrection.

Taking up your cross is hard, but walking through life without it is harder.
Giving is tough, but hoarding is ruinous.
Praying can leave us cold, but not praying will leave us frozen.
Forgiving will cause me pain, but refusing to forgive will cause my destruction.
Admitting I was wrong is humbling, but insisting I am right will make me lonely.
Repaying injury with kindness goes against our instinct for survival, but holding onto resentment is the suicide of our souls.
Keeping your mouth closed when you want to criticize, back-bite, or gossip is one of life’s hardest tasks, but sharing your negativity poisons the air that you yourself must breathe.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  It’s not that there is no yoke and no burden, but they are easy and light, compared to life lived without Christ.

May your cross-bearing this week result in stone-rolling on Sunday.

Duncan