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.Β  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! πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜›

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: July 13th (Combo Post)

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Psalm: 38, 119:25-48
Old Testament: 1 Sam 20:1-23
New Testament: Acts 12:20-25
Gospel: Mark 2:13-22
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a Treatise on the Mysteries by St. Ambrose

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I pray, β€˜Only do not let them rejoice over me,
those who boast against me when my foot slips.’ (Psalm 38:15)

Something in my brain tells me that I’ve probably done a post on this verse before….so if I am inadvertently repeating myself, I apologize…anyway it is definitely a sentiment that really rings true for me right now.

I totally confess that I do not do well with the whole waiting thing. I’d even go so far as to say that I am one of the most impatient people on the planet. This doesn’t mean that I can’t do the laid-back thing and let things develop…..a lot of the time that’s what I have to do in my job(s)….but that doesn’t mean I particularly enjoy the process itself. πŸ˜›

That discomfort has been heightened for me of late…since–in two weeks time–one of my bishops is coming to check out the ministry that I do here in London.

I honestly have no idea how it’s going to pan out….and part of me thinks that I will probably fall flat on my ass.

That being said, I have since started meeting with my Spiritual Director and he and I have discussed something very important over the last few weeks…. Letting the Third Person into the conversation

It’s not about me trying to convince the Bishop that I should be ordained, or to show him that I am doing good work….or even about trying to achieve results.

I have to work hard yes…..but more than that…..I have to leave room for God in there somewhere πŸ˜›

The point is not to put my trust in my own abilities…but in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will show up when She is needed most. Not only to give me strength and ability….but to give light to the darkness…and to allow a bishop and a lay leader to meet as brothers in Christ…..not as superior and inferior….

Let’s just hope I can keep my sanity until the visit! πŸ˜› +

Evening Prayer: June 16th (Combo Post)

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Psalms: 84, 85, 86
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 2:27-36
New Testament: Acts 2:22-36
Gospel: Luke 20:41-21:4
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by St. Cyprian

I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover, my flesh will live in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence (Acts 2:25b-29)

So….heathen that I am…..I didn’t post anything last night or this morning. Rest assured much praying was being done on my part πŸ™‚

Last night, after a wonderful dinner…I was privileged to attend a service of Confirmation and reception.

At this particular liturgy, some 20 young people made commitments to Christ as adults, claiming their place as stewards of the Church universal, and also to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for each of their individual ministries. :).

As an added blessing, a lovely young lady was received as a new member of the Anglican Church of Canada Congrats to all! πŸ™‚

In his homily for this service, our bishop gave what I thought was a great message……which doesn’t always happen with episcopal sermons lol ;).

In essence, Bob reminded those gathered in the Chapel that we come together as a community to remember Christ; and to celebrate the Trinity in our midst. Without that….we are nothing but a hollow, institutional shell.

That’s why I love reading the sermons from Acts like the one we have this evening. In his loose paraphrase of Psalm 16, we hear of Peter giving witness to the life, teaching, and effect of Jesus’ ministry on his own heart…and extending that invitation to all of Judea.

Notice that in both the original Psalm, and in Peter’s re-framing of it, a sense of celebration is retained. Our faith is not something that is meant to bring burden and strict moral obligations. Rather it is something that causes us to be glad of heart and rejoicing with all our might.

Does that mean we can discard those parts of Christianity that stretch us? What about those times when we feel crappy and not joyful at all? Can we ignore the commandments of Jesus if a particular commandment does not cause us to feel warm and gooey inside???

Call me crazy…..but I don’t think that’s what Peter is after here….Notice that Psalm 16 doesn’t say we will never fall into despair….or find ourselves with difficult moral choices to make. Rather it’s that God will lift us up out of the Pit….give us a Light to follow in the darkness.

Even when we have to be uncomfortable, and are called to do something which seems impossible, Christ will always be there to look us in the eye and give us strength and support.

Thanks be to God for such a wonderful gift. πŸ™‚ + ❀

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