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The Chalice
Friday, May 26 2023


“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 1:12-17)

On Easter Morning the disciples heard the eyewitness account from Mary who said, “I have seen the Lord.” In this week’s Gospel from John, Jesus goes to the Upper Room that very day and says to the disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” The Hebrew word “Shalom” is a general greeting that means peace, but the peace of God that passes all understanding has a meaning that is much deeper. “Peace be with you” means restoring you to wholeness. Jesus knows that the mission that he was given has been fulfilled and now it is the time for God to breath the Holy Spirit into a new creation. The disciples will start the church forward, and you and I will keep the church and the peace of God going. We are God’s new creation and we are holy and beloved. God gives us the power to forgive and the power to love unconditionally.

Another meaning of the word peace is to rest in the Lord. God asks one day of rest for every six days of work. The idea of a Sabbath has been practiced by Jewish people for thousands of years. A sabbatical is a few months of rest from the rigors of church life after my first six years (well maybe a little more because of Covid). I will be off in June, July, and August to renew my pursuit of telling my great grandmother’s story. When I was just a young lad, she asked me to listen to her stories and pass them on to future generations in our family. She grew up in Oklahoma and went to the Carlisle Boarding School in Pennsylvania with other Indian children. She lost her mom, dad, stepdad, two brothers and husband to bullets. Yet out of the tragedy of her life she triumphed through the love of God. A music society bearing her name (the Hyechka Club was organized on Oct. 20, 1904, in Tulsa, Indian Territory) is still strong. The boarding school Henry Kendall College which she helped start with her mother (who adopted her) is now Tulsa University.

When Alice Robertson met her as a little orphan girl, she knew that the only power strong enough to bring her to peace and wholeness was the Holy Spirit. Her story is that of a courageous full blood Muscogee Creek Indian that would not rest until her heart rested in the love of God. She earned a master’s degree in music composition, helped translate the Gospel into the Muscogee language, traveled and performed around the world, composed music, and was friends with President Teddy Roosevelt. While her life had many difficult turns, she always turned to the Lord.

I would like to thank our wardens and vestry for allowing me to take some needed rest and to write my great grandmother’s oral history. This will be my last Sunday until after Labor Day.

Fr. Duncan

Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. John's Episcopal Church
12 Prospect St. | Huntington, NY 11743 | PH: (631) 427-1752
Sunday Services at 8 AM and 10 AM
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