I’ve been ruminating on things.
This has been a very different Easter. For the first time in nearly thirty-five years I have neither been in charge nor simply doing my ordained thing. I have been reflecting on the resurrection and upon “new life” as we are now experiencing it.
It is not that I have not been busy – I have been. I was able to do things over Easter simply because I wanted to. I washed feet on Maundy Thursday. I prostrated myself before the Cross on Good Friday. I sat in the pew for the vigil and then was able to just assist and be a server/acolyte on Easter Sunday. This Sunday I was the preacher so as to give a friend a rest after a very busy Easter season. I think it has been such a blessing for me to be able to help. Of course the answer is that I am not in charge! I wish I had realized that years ago. God is in charge. I have not until this week been able truly able to see this truth. May God be more in charge!
A few weeks ago a friend commented on my pictures on this blog and elsewhere. He commented that at last I was free and it showed. I did not realize that for so long I had a protective shell around me. Part of that was carrying the load of the congregation and being its “covering.” Part of that was the protective armor needed to deal with the toxic politics of the Episcopal Church, which while they seem to get worse, nonetheless they do not affect me here in Peru as I am simply doing ministry as Jesus told us to. We witness to Jesus and seek to let Jesus transform the lives around us. We work with the clergy and with the poor. Life is simpler and life is more blessed – I feel blessed and free.
I want to comment briefly on today’s Gospel. Last Sunday we heard how Mary heard Jesus say her name – she recognized him, clutched his feet, and then went and told her story – her witness to the risen Jesus Christ. This week Jesus comes to answer Thomas’ questions. He stands before Thomas. Thomas drops to his knees, worships Jesus with these words – My Lord and my God. Somehow the reason we all follow Jesus is because we have at some point heard or felt him come to us. Part of why we are in Church is to experience Jesus in a fresh way and yet in ways celebrated for nearly two thousand years. Worship, Word, Sacrament, Prayer and Presence, these are gifts to us. Thanks be to God that God is not silent. Hearing the voice and following it is the Grand Adventure. Being Spirit-filled makes the impossible possible, as we are part of God’s new creation.