Wednesday, March 13, 2013

25th Day of Lent

Today is Wednesday March 13
It is the 25th day of Lent.
Our Day at St. Martin's began around 7:00 a.m. I arrived at the Church to say a few prayers for the Day,the Kiwanis participants and for whatever the Holy Spirit would place in my Heart.
My lent has been "Shadowed"  by
  1. Getting the parish  focused on the  what happens now" after the annual meeting
  2. Getting ready to engage our new vestry in future planning.
  3. Using our Ministry resources and Staff to the benefit of our Father's Kingdom
  4. Keeping the momentum of the Confirmation Class (and other groups in the Church)
  5. Standing with those who are sick, wounded and hurting
  6. Wanting to Make Holy Week Count..when everyone seems to be heading in a different direction...Florida...Cuba...Punta Cana
  7. Trying to be a blessing to as many as possible.
  8. Yada Yada Yada.....
  9. Trying not to get too tired...

St. Martin's is one of the Communities hosting the Kiwanis. Pretty much all of this morning voices will declare Gods creativity,as young people accompanied by their over worked  and much loved teachers will share their gifts for the benefit of those gathered and the all important adjudicators.
What a wonderful time we have been given. God bless the Kiwanians for all they do!

Some Notes about what our young folks are up to:

Next Saturday Evening
we will be at the Church from 7:00 – 8:30 to receive your donations for the Confirmation Class Almsgiving event. 

Bake Sale on Sunday!  The sale of these items will take place following the morning service next Sunday!.

Remember, this event is not a sale in the traditional sense.
The Confirmation students are providing us with an opportunity to donate generously, simply for the sake of giving to God.
The items will NOT be priced, but we trust you know their worth, and will give to Primates World Relief through this special Event!

Tonight at 7:00 our Lenten Devotions continue.
Revd. John's talks resume with "Finding God in the Darkness"
See you this evening.

Have a Blessed  St. Agnello of Pisa Day!

Apologies: The evening recording was of a very poor quality,so there is no podcast for this servive

The Evening Service was quiet.
About forty of us gathered together for evening prayers,and to Listen to Revd. John's message: Finding God in the Dark.

Here are the Sermon notes

Finding our way through the Darkness

Prayer: Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The talk I am sharing tonight is just a small portion of some of the writing I have done on this subject.
You may recall that I spoke of a sense of the "Giftedness of the
Darkness"  that is a part of my life. 
I must also repeat an earlier commentary:

I believe from my experiences that

when life's safe routines are broken or sudden change comes, people are led (or forced)  to a dark place where two things can happen:

1. Losing Sight of God and faith, or
2. The nurturing of a deeper, more real ,and Honest relationship with God.

·        "Darkness"  as a word and theme is found in both the Old Testament (Heb. hasak and New Testament (Gk.skotos).  Light symbolizes God, and darkness describes everything that is against God: the wicked ( Prov 2:13-14 ; 1 Thess 5:4-7 ), judgment ( Exod 10:21 ; Matt 25:30 ), and death ( Psalm 88:12 ).

·    Although darkness is blinding to humans, it is transparent to God            ( Psalm 139:12 ).

·  Darkness is not equal in power to God's light. God rules over the darkness and the powers of evil. God knows the darkness. He knows where it is ( Job 34:22 ) and what it contains

But let's be honest:
Even though we know  academically, that God is the ruler over all things, our human experience of Darkness speaks of :
  • What we know,
  • What we face
  • Where we have been 
  • Where we are now.
  • Where we will we be in the future
    In my pastoral work I have concern for people who deny the reality of doubt and anxiety .
    Even more difficult to deal with are concept of believers who feel it is sinful and wrong to carry such things or express doubt.

Thomas Did. Peter did. 
Jesus Cried "My God My God Why have you forsaken me?"
To know full mystery of life includes the reality that we must endure its other half..the darkness.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) English writer well known... Said ``Faith is the art of Surviving one's Moods.``
I have heard many people say:
"There have been times when I had no desire for Prayer."
"There have been times when I had no sense of God , and no desire to do anything about it."

"The stress of life can dry you up pretty quickly ."

How many times have we heard
``There is always someone who has it worse``..
 I have always described that saying as a poor consolation for pain. 
Better to be honest with God about it,and deal with it! 
Some Advice...
 A long time ago a man came home and saw a huge snake on his front lawn.
He grabbed an axe and attacked it. It hissed and spat and curled around, until finally it appeared to be dead. In the morning the man went out to examine the little bits that were all over the yard, and discovered that he had chopped up his garden hose.

It`s not a good idea to fight snakes if you see them in the night. They might turn out to be something else that is quite harmless or even useful. 
When it is dark and we are tired, it is easy to make bad decisions..

Christians can live, not in a mire of  doubt, but with a  real hope that burns within .
This hope comes because of experiences of the Sacred that came through

  • the written Ancient Word, the
  • Vehicle of liturgy and tradition
  • and the Living words of people who also have been touched by the power of the Love of Jesus while in the dark.
    Let me list a summary of three things which will help us get through the dark night:
1. Remain steadfast, and don`t change your course in the dark.

2. When your mood is dark and leads you to despair, sadness, or loss, push against it.

3. Trust that this time will not last, and that morning will come.

Help us  kindle our fire this night In the presence of the holy angels of heaven

Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
But the Holy Son of God to shield us.
God, kindle Thou in our hearts within
A flame of love  and hope that lights not just my path alone, but that of neighbour foe, friend,and to my kindred all.
1. Faith is knowing and unknowing
2  It is Strong and fragile
3 It is not objective but is provides an unshakable Hope.
4. It is the substance of things hoped for, based on the evidence of that which is unseen.



No comments:

Post a Comment