From the Pastor’s Desk

I write this from the quiet of my study after this year’s Good Friday service and find the silence disconcerting. For those of you not in attendance, the service simply ended after the final hymn….no benediction, no ringing of the bell, nothing, leaving us to wait and hope for Easter. What was most disturbing to me was the loneliness of leaving worship without a sense of community, without having chats with parishioners. Silence can be good, as the saying goes “The silence of God is not the silence of a graveyard but the silence of a garden growing” On Good Friday, it is good to experience the silence, to listen for God’s voice. And perhaps what the silence teaches us, in addition to listening for God, is that we crave community. Christianity, in the words of one of my former professors, is indeed a team sport….no matter what we may claim, the reality is that we cannot be Christians apart from others…we need community.

This month our lectionary readings include one of my favorite passages in the Acts of the Apostles that describes the actions of the early community of believes (Acts 2:42-47).  Here we have what I believe to be one of the best examples of how God desires for us to live. Those who were baptized and professed their belief in the gospel transformed their lives because of their beliefs. Their days were filled with studying the teachings of the church leaders, of being in community with others, of sharing meals, and in prayer. Those who had more gave of their possessions to provide for those who had need within the community.

Most of us will readily admit we need God, but we aren’t always so ready to admit that we also need one another. The church is to exist not merely as a monument to God’s glory but as a place from which momentum may be gained. We gather together as people of faith so that we may grow in that faith, that we may ever increase in knowledge of God, in grace, in generosity, in that goodness exhibited by those early believers in the book of Acts. We can be a powerful force for change in our community when we work together. Our lives as Christians, our lives together, are to be a balancing act of “ora et labora” or “work and prayer”…and when done in community these individual acts of service and of worship are magnified and transformed. On our own we may feel small and insignificant, as Mother Teresa once wrote “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be the less because of that missing drop…If we wait till we get the numbers, then we will be lost in the numbers.” Each of us may feel like that little rain drop, but together those individual drops of water can nourish an entire field. As we travel through these joyous days of the Easter season, quickly approaching Pentecost may we be conscious of our need to be together, and the strength of community. We can, and already are, making a difference in our community, we can (and are) voices for change, voices of compassion, voices of hope in our world. Together let us continue to imagine and work towards the good that can come to this world when we work with God and one another in bringing forth God’s holy kingdom.

Grateful for this community of faith,

Pastor Tara