I fly on airplanes a lot. Frequently, once settled into my seat, I’ll listen to some music and read my electronic version of the Book of Common Prayer. I enjoy reading the Psalter and the Propers and Collects; mostly I enjoy the language. Language and words have been important to me for as long as I can remember. Words are terribly important and they carry a weight unlike many other tools we use. Words can be nuanced or blunt, they can be vague and inexact, they can also be sharp and direct. I think words are important.
Seeking and Serving Christ in Others.
These six words not only identify and describe our Mission, but they also speak to the wider mission of the Episcopal Church and indeed all of Christendom. These six simple words are direct and blunt and exact. Seeking and serving Christ in others is our duty and our mission. But these words are some nuanced, too. These words directly instruct me to seek Christ in others but they also tell me that others are seeking Christ in me: in other words- these Mission Statement words go in at least two different directions. These words are an instruction to participate with each other, to be present with each other, these words tell us to seek while at the same time be available to be sought.
And I’ll tell you something else–these words are a challenge to me. The only people we are told to minister to are “others”, or, everyone other than me. Seek and serve Christ in every person I know or will ever meet? That’s a tall and tough order and one at which I fail much of the time. I get up, I try, I fail, I pray, and I try again. And this, in a nutshell is the human condition. We are imperfect and turbulent and messy. We are commanded to love one another as we love ourselves- we are told to Seek and Serve Christ in others- and I fail repeatedly. However, even though I fail, I know others are seeking and serving Christ in me. Fundamentally, this is why I love my Church. I am challenged and stretched and, at times, made to feel uncomfortable and this space, this challenged space, is where I feel closest to God and my fellow parishioners and my Church. It’s the place where I sense and recognize my own spiritual growth.
For me, Transfiguration is a balance between seeking and being sought, learning and teaching, having my feet washed and washing others feet. The path we’re on goes in at least two different directions and for me, this is profound.
Kristin and I try hard to participate in the life of our church; we’re involved in several ministries and we feel benefits every day. One of the ways Kristin and I participate with and in this congregation is through our pledge. We use our words and our actions and our time to support Transfiguration–we use our money, too. Our pledge, everyone’s pledge, is a sacrifice. It’s another way that we can empower our church to seek and serve, too.
Seeking and serving Christ in others- these simple words are profound. These words tell me to participate inasmuch as we can with this parish and our fellow parishioners. These words tell me to financially empower my Church as we seek Christ in each other. And it means that we’re supporting our church while at the same time each of you are seeking and serving Christ in us, too.
I encourage you to think and pray over the many great benefits all of us receive through greater participation with each other and within our Church. Consider empowering Transfiguration through your pledge. Empower our church to seek and serve Christ in others- you included… and remember that our participation empowers us as parishioners to be available for others to seek and serve Christ in us- you included!