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)

Click here for worship times Close

A Message From Duncan- November 14, 2023

A Message From Duncan- November 14, 2023

What did we learn?

Face it.  Sometimes the only way God can get through to us is when the props are removed, the safety net cut, and the calendar emptied.

Do you remember how you felt when the pandemic started?  Fear was a big response, I remember.  I was in the suburbs of Manhattan and the fear was tangible.  Images of temporary hospitals being set up in Central Park will do that to you.

I also remember telling myself (and the parish I served), that the pandemic was an opportunity.  God was giving us the time and space to do important things – have that difficult conversation, examine those messed-up priorities, and make our hectic lives simpler.

Now that we are ‘back to normal’, I look around me (and inside me) and feel some disappointment.  Yes, we are, depressingly, ‘back to normal’, with all the dysfunction that we had before God called the world to take a time-out.  This is a tragic pity.  When will we ever get another chance to take a few months to examine our lives?  If all we did was get back to the superficial and the meaningless, the rush and the exhaustion, the consumption and distraction, then what was the point?

God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.
If you think that sounds like a nifty little saying from scripture, then you’re right.  It’s Proverbs 7:29, and it’s right, isn’t it?  God did make human beings simple.  We actually need very little to live contented, productive lives – food, shelter, love, a degree of mental and physical health, and meaningful activity.

During lockdown, some things we thought were essential were exposed as mere added extras that make life more pleasant.  We missed them when they stopped, but we learned that they could be subtracted without damaging our well-being.

Take sport, for example.  I seriously wondered how I would survive the spring of 2020 without baseball, March Madness, the Masters, and the climax of the English Premier League season.  How could I endure a summer without cricket, Wimbledon, the Olympics, and the Tour de France?  In the words of Carole King, ‘It might as well rain until September.’

Our exile asked us big questions, and one of them was, “What do you need to be happy?”

Simplicity is elusive, a shifting shadow.  Many of us have a nostalgic memory of how unhurried life was before those ‘labor-saving devices’ consumed our days.  We secretly long for a time before computers when we seemed to know an awful lot more about the truly important things in life than we do now.  Oh, the ironies of the complicated life.

The call to simplicity is a solemn one.  But it is also one of joy.  In the global shutdown, jellyfish and dolphins swam in Venice’s canals.  Goats wandered down the hill to roam freely through the streets of a deserted town in Wales.  Many people in Indian Punjab were able to see the Himalayas for the first time in living memory.  Of course, there was a world of suffering and hardship, and I don’t want to make light of it.

And yet, doesn’t part of us yearn for simplicity in life?  Advent is not too far away now.  Two weeks on Sunday.  It’s another chance, handed lovingly by our patient God, to look inward, assess our priorities, and get ready for the coming of Christ.  Let’s not waste this gift.

~
Duncan