An Altar in the World: Practice Not Perfect

Dear Friends in Christ,
 
Though we continue to practice “social distancing” we also continue our Wednesday gatherings for Evening Prayer through the blessing of technology.  Incarnation is not something we take lightly, especially in these days of social distancing.  Incarnation is a fancy church word for “in the flesh.”  Jesus’ incarnation reminds us that God comes to us in the flesh – not just his own but also yours, mine, our neighbor’s. Through the practice of community, the words of this doctrine take on flesh. 

In An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor takes twelve ordinary experiences of human life and invites us to see them as spiritual practices. What if our spirituality was shaped not only by prayer, and worship, and sacraments – but also by getting lost, and paying attention, and in physical labor? What if our spirituality was shaped not by a quest for perfection but rather by continual practice? “My hope,” she writes, “is that reading [this book] will help you recognize some of the altars in the world – ordinary-looking places where human beings have met and may continue to meet up with the divine More that they sometimes call God.”  Serendipitously perhaps, this book and our Lenten theme invite us to practice where we are, and now the unprecedented time in which we are living calls us to practice what we preach.  So tonight, this week, practice wherever you are – who knows, you may look down to find that the altar you were searching for all along was right where you are standing! 

For our Wednesday Mid-Week Worship, we continue using Holden Evening Prayer, hearing a brief homily, and then practicing based on the theme for the week. We invite you to pause, light a candle, and gather together at home.  For those who are able, we invite you to listen at 7PM, knowing that we are worshiping together spiritually even though we are apart physically.  You can follow along with the bulletin and lyrics and listen to the Wednesday Sermons Podcast, which has the entire service.    

The Peace of Christ Be with You Always,

Pastor Danielle

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