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The Chalice
Friday, May 29 2020

Unless the eye catch fire,

God will not be seen.

Unless the ear catch fire

God will not be heard.

Unless the tongue catch fire

God will not be named.

Unless the heart catch fire,

God will not be loved.

Unless the mind catch fire,

God will not be known.

— William Blake

There are many places where I experience the living presence of God. I love to worship God in familiar liturgy that survives the test of time like Rite I. I love prayers that I have been saying since I was young like the Lord’s Prayer. I love holy, beautiful, and magnificent spaces like Cathedrals. I love to hear God praised through prayer, chant, and song. I love to share Eucharist in community. I love to read the bible in community and discern what the Holy Spirit is saying. The Coronavirus has made this very difficult. We need to be socially distant for a little while longer. We are working on a plan to open the church!

But church is not the only place where I experience the eternal. I love to watch the sun rise and watch the sun set. I love to watch wind as it blows through trees. I watch wind as it forms ripples on the water and move across the sound. I love to see waves at the ocean and to hear the melody of the water crashing against the shore. I love to watch water flow from the top of a mountain, through a waterfall and form a river. I love to stare into a fire. I enjoy the smell of burning wood, the feeling of warmth on a cold night, and the crackling of a fire. I love to hike deep into the woods. I love to hike so far and high into the wilderness that the only sounds I hear are the birds singing, the water rushing, and wind dancing through the forest. I love having 25 people at Morning Prayer on Zoom each morning. I love our coffee hours and our bible studies. The fact is, God is everywhere.

The Holy Spirit is coming to you if you look towards his eternal truth and the presence of the One, Holy, God. Yes, God is found at St. John’s, in our outreach, our bible study, our Thrift Shop, Hilda’s Guild, and in our community at breakfast, but God is also in our food donations and our benefit concerts. People ask me how to experience the Holy Spirit in their lives. I like to use the example of Peter to explain how it happens. “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:28-30)

I tell people that the first step is to have faith that Jesus Christ is Lord. Faith requires a little shift from the frontal lobe of your brain and that is where the experience can be lost before it even starts. This shift only occurs when we express true love and thanksgiving to God. Please know that you have been forgiven through the giving of Jesus Christ on the cross. I wish it were easier for us, but God asks us for nothing less than our whole self. God responds by giving us a taste of the eternal. This love eventually burns in all of our senses. Our soul becomes a conduit through all our senses of the ever living God. So what are you waiting for? Get out of the boat (church). Go catch the fire of God’s love and share it with everyone you meet.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Duncan

Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 11:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email