Monday, March 24th, 2014 – The Third Monday in Lent

“Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” – John 4:38

 

Sometimes, biblical lines like this one by Jesus seem, well…biblical…but not very applicable to our ordinary lives. Other times, like this weekend, they seem prescient. Like He is a sage on top of everything else.

On Friday night, I attended a Confirmation retreat for our eighteen 8th grade confirmands. Saturday morning, close to twenty folks from the parish attended the Kids against Hunger event at the Winnetka Community House where the entire group of volunteers, well over a hundred in total, packaged 110,000 meals for starving children in Central America. That afternoon, I drove down to A Just Harvest where our team of more than a dozen parishioners helped serve our friends in Evanston a hot meal which we had helped prepare. I came back for a choir dinner for our thirty-five guests from St. Alban’s/National Cathedral schools. They were housed by choir families for the night, coming back in the morning to make nightingales blush as they sang with and for us. Yesterday at church, our parents and younger kids unveiled the Bible Village they had been working on for weeks, where the children assumed the identities of first century characters who would have interacted with Jesus and his followers. This was all in addition to hearing Leslie Hunter, the chaplain at Holy Family School in Lawndale, deliver a prayer/poem of remarkable power and inspiration as our service began. He was greeted by a table of baked goods being sold as a fundraiser for Holy Family by one of our Confirmand Mentor groups, a collection of young women and their adult Mentors. They made $260 in their effort.

I, and many of you, were able to enter into the labor of dozens and dozens of people of all ages who made their offerings to God this weekend through the ministry of Christ Church…and I’m sure I am missing some. Remember, I’m only going back 48 hours and these were just the things I was personally acquainted with. Some of you talked with your children or aging parents; some of you were praying for people close to you; some of you were coming simply to worship and to be fed by the presence of Jesus in word and sacrament; others of our fellowship were elsewhere worshipping God “in spirit and in truth,” as Jesus said in the Gospel reading yesterday.

There was a palpable sense of our community at work this weekend, growing in service to God, our neighbors, and each other. No one person made this all happen; we all had the experience of entering into someone else’s labor. Just as Jesus promised.

 

Questions for the day: Can I be just as grateful for someone else’s offering as I am my own? When I am successful, do I look for others with whom to share the credit?

 

Christopher Powell

 

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