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Let’s Do Something Different

Take a deep breath. It has been a rough week for many people. Waiting is difficult, and we are waiting on important news. 

For some other people this week has been a revelation that our little experiment in a nation built on the rule of law rather than a cult of power or personality is still holding. Though we have all worried a bit.

I have strong opinions about all of this, but I thought we would take a minute and do something different.  

Let’s remember the things that are eternal.  

The Collect for Proper 20

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

We are not just citizens of the world.  God’s Reign is not going to come through Trump or Biden. It is already here. It is already present in the Body of Christ.  

We are called to embody that Rule of God, the human children of God living in this world like ambassadors of Heaven. We are here to bring God’s way of love, justice, and peace to bear on the world. 

That has not changed. 

Christ Church of the Ascension is an embassy of God’s Kingdom. That kingdom will endure, though its context changes. It was here when the grasses covered the desert floor and no cow had ever grazed this land. It will be here when the grasses take back the sidewalks. It is eternal, but it becomes temporal in us when we live it here in our moment of life.

When we live on the border between holiness and the laughter of friends who have longed to see each other, when we offer our water bottle to the thirsty stranger, when we raise our hands together in prayer and give voice to the prayers of a people who are losing their spiritual voice, we find ourselves in the joyful presence of Christ, radiant with a peace like light. 

“When two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” 

Growing up in the half-wild fields and forests of the Mississippi hills, I would get lost on our family land for hours wandering. But as the light fell I would look up and there would be my mother’s house with the lights on like a Christian at prayer, and I would come home like those wandering souls around us hungry for a home cooked meal and the shelter of love.

Do something different. Be a light in this world. Hold to the things that will endure, and live with us on the border of this world and the Reign of God.

In Christ,

Daniel+

The Very Rev. Daniel P. Richards

Rector, Christ Church of the Ascension

Paradise Valley, Arizona