I have resigned to the fact that I miss the Rite II, Prayer C liturgy of the American Episcopal Church, and am surprised that I miss Father Clark and the cozy sanctuary of Emmanuel Episcopal. I just remembered the simple statue of Mary and I miss her too, for how beautiful she was and how she challenged me in so many ways. I should have invested more while I was there, but I am here now, and am learning the ways of St Andy’s and the Scottish Episcopal liturgy. Today is Ash Wednesday and I loved the Eucharistic prayer for today:
Worship and praise belong to you, maker of light and darkness. Your wisdom draws beauty from chaos, brings a harvest out of sorrow and leads the exiles home. In Christ your Son, enemies are reconciled, debts forgiven and strangers made welcome. Your spirit frees us to live as sons and daughters in our Father’s house.
It fills me with sadness that this is not how the Church is. This is instead a vision of the way it should be. We have the ability to make it so, through the Spirit, but it is up to us. Thus it is my prayer that this Lent, all those observing Lent and all those who love God and the Church will find their lives revolutionized by that love, be invested with the vision of a Church that is welcoming and kind, sincere and full of the awesome power of Christ, and make it so.
I read this morning in Job: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. May the name of the Lord be praised.” I was reminded this evening: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from your sin and turn to Christ.” This is a beautiful, broken world and I am in it but for a little while.