Fifth Sunday of Easter, Mother’s Day weekend

May 10, 2020

May the glory of God’s presence that is within you and that surrounds you also comfort you on this love-filled weekend.

Blessings and joys of Mother’s Day to all those who mother, nurture and love us. There won’t be long lines of folk outside restaurants waiting for tables this weekend, but we will honor our mothers with calls, kisses and See’s Candies, all the same!

We have come to the Fifth Sunday of Easter. We revel in the news of Resurrection even while looking for hints of it in our world today. The readings this Sunday do not make it any easier; they throw us back to Holy Week with a reading from the “Farewell Discourse” of Jesus at the Last Supper. The lectionary invites us to recall the words of Jesus as he says, ‘goodbye,’ but perhaps more poignantly, to consider the responses from the disciples who are hearing their teacher say he loves them and is not leaving them without support.

I love being at St. John’s. I love the people whom I serve and who serve the goals of the Gospel with me. Even in the days of pandemic and isolation, we are fervent in our pursuit of reconciling the world to God. Under the holy leadership of BJ Sullivan, we are collecting and dispersing clothes for some people who need them. (“When did we see you naked and clothe you, Lord?”) With Roger and Robin and Pat and others, we helped in the feeding of over 1,000 people on Wednesday. (“When did we see you hungry and feed you?”) Joanne, the Bishop’s Committee and those on the “Caller Ministry” list reach out to the members of the church just to say, “Hello! How are you?” (“When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”) You see, we are all and each surrounded by people who are doing the work Jesus was doing while on earth. We are witnessing Christ at work practicing reconciliation, loving those close and those on the margins, and changing lives one at a time.

Despite the causes of joy we all have, the readings this Sunday remind us that we have other feelings, too. During the pandemic, feelings like anxiety, fear, loss, doubt, and apprehension can haunt and even overwhelm us. These feelings are meant to serve us and not to be repressed and ignored. Acknowledging them allows us to make room in our lives for the promise of God that, “I will be with you always.” Denying these feelings and telling ourselves, “I’m fine. I’m fine,” permit for the illusion that we are in control. Being in the vulnerable position of screaming out with fear, in anxiety, makes room for our greatest needs of all: the need to allow God to be in control and to acknowledge our need for God’s presence.

In our great need, we gather for Morning Prayer this Sunday at 9 a.m. and find there strength and reward. Strength to move forward and reward for the great work that is being done at St. John’s and beyond. If you need the link for Morning Prayer, the meeting code or password, please find it in the email I sent everyone Saturday morning. Here’s the worship bulletin.

There will be a time, soon, when we will be together again. Do not lose sight. Do not lose hope. God is with us.

There has been expressed interest in gathering for online Bible Fellowship. If you wish to be included in the invitation for this gathering, please reply to this email and it will get to me (Rev. Christopher). We will do this during the evening on a weekday. The same is true about our Adult Formation class. In the same way, if you wish to be part of that gathering, let me know. We have not decided when we would do this, but once we have a list of intendeds, we will start the process.

Again, Happy Mother’s Day to those who are, have, or ever needed one!

With Love,

Rev. Christopher