|What is your favorite time of day to be in our chapel or sanctuary? It’s hard for me to choose. I love early morning light hitting the old windows in the sacristy. I love our chapel on a winter evening when the wood enfolds us in warmth. I love that the late afternoon light makes a range of blues sing out from two narrow stained glass windows. I’m sure that you all would name countless more memories from time in our sanctuary and chapel – memories that are even more dear to you now that we’re not there together (for a time).|
It’s often said that a church is more than its building and that is true. What enlivens our sanctuary and gives us an identity is each of you. And yet, what is also true, is that Trinity’s holy architecture is rather extraordinary. I know that we miss being there together. The familiar creak of a pew. The movement of a processional cross. The gleam of gold on a saint that encircles our altar.
An important part of making it through a difficult time like this one is to name what we are missing, to name what is hard about our experience. It’s part of how we pray to God, with honesty, about our experience. It’s part of how we give our whole self to God. It’s part of how we learn, from God, what is worth our attention. After you’ve named, in prayer, what is hard about this experience, listen for God’s word of comfort. Sense where God is bringing you consolation. Notice where you see Christ out in our everyday world – even when you can’t be within the walls of our beloved Trinity.
A simple way of practicing this – maybe it’s something you practiced as a child, or when you were raising children – is to name a rose and a thorn of your day. The rose is something from your day that brought you comfort or joy or was life-giving. The thorn is something from your day that was hurtful or a challenge. I’ve found it helpful to write these down each day or week – over time they help me understand where I experience God, and Christ’s consolation and challenge, as I grow and mature in my faith.
Above all, I pray that the peace of Christ rules in your hearts during this difficult time. One of the great gifts of our faith is that the Holy Spirit is connecting us and drawing us back together even as we cannot be physically together. We continue to trust in the Holy Spirit. We continue to seek the peace of Christ – while we are apart and until we are together again.
In God’s Peace,