Getting a reality check on the way home…….

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Copyright: Joey Lawerence

For those who know me personally….or have read some of my posts in the last few days you know that I have been (ever so gradually) freaking out about the Bishop’s visit to my parish placement.  Part of my apprehension tonight has to do with the fact that I don’t know how much this visit will impact my ordination status.

I know that the goal of attaining clerical office should be the furthest thing from my mind…..that the worship and ministry must come first……but what can I say??? I’m human and I want some things for myself damn it! 😉

In the midst of my own worrying, I decided to go for a late coffee @ Timmie’s….caffiene and sugar (in the form of baked goods) usually provide a short relief from any and all stress in my life. 🙂

On my way back to the apartment, I ran in to two people whom I know from my street ministry. Neither are homeless, but they are definitely in the lower income bracket, and usually have to bounce from place to place because rent is so high.

In the case of this particular couple, I know that they often cannot afford bus passes, and have to walk virtually everywhere. Based on where they live now, that means a solid 4 km hike to the East end…….that’s one way……

In conversing with them, I learned that yet again, there had been an income re-assessment performed and their benefits got cut by a substantial amount, forcing them to put their stuff in storage and (assuming things would fall into place the way they hoped) move into a new building at the end of this month.

Only problem is…..this building is SUPER sketch :P……with known prostitutes working there and drug deals happening on a regular basis….the case worker has tried to get them into a better setting but the wait list for the next available apartment is 8 months long. 😛

Needless to say……while I am still very nervous about tomorrow…..it doesn’t seem right that I should be bitching and complaining……I am in a good air-conditioned building, with food in my fridge and enough money to last me for the week.

Come liturgical or professional /FAIL tomorrow, I know that I am both lucky and loved…..and I need to constantly remember that whatever the Christian life is about…..it is most certainly not about me or my need for official status :P.

Evening Prayer: Maundy Thursday

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Psalms: 142, 143
Gospel: John 13:1-27
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from an Easter sermon of St. Melito of Sardis

When I first came to the Anglican Church I was a little baffled as to why it today was called “Maundy” Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin word “mandatum” meaning “commandment”. And what is this new commandment????

[Jesus said to his disciples] “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Coming from a Roman Catholic background, this shift in emphasis was a new thing for me. In the RC tradition, Holy Thursday is used as a day to give thanks for the Last Supper and an opportunity to venerate the Holy Sacrament. There was no talk of commands.

Yet in the Anglican faith, much more emphasis is placed on the directive of our Lord to love, and of His great humiilty washing the disciples feet. Not only that..but the readings always include Jesus’ prayer that his disciples may always be one:

‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am…. (John 17:20-24a)

No matter what lines divide us in denomination, doctrinal dispute, or personal greivances, we are called to love beyond all else. Not only that….we are strengthened through Jesus’ prayer to know that whatever divides us can never be as important proclaiming the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he has come to save us:

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)

As we enter into the Triddium this year may we always be mindful of the great price paid for our salvation, the Sacrament which feeds us in body, mind and soul, and of the fundamental message to all Christians that the aim of this life is not to be served, but to wash the feet of others. +

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