Bulletin Article – March 24, 2024

Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.

Spiritual Reflection

by Orin Johnson, Director of Music & Liturgy

Building a Church

Today’s scripture passages bring our Lenten journey, nearing its end once again, in some ways back to where the journey began.  You perhaps have noticed that this particular Lenten cycle is one of covenants: first Noah, then Abraham, and others. On this Sunday we hear that there are days coming when God will make a new covenant, where God’s laws will not be handed on to us externally, like the ten commandments on tablets, but will be written on our hearts.  In the Gospel, we are told of God’s thunderous voice, much like the voice at the transfiguration.  Everything is seeming to return us to where the journey began: Jesus’s proclamation that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

It can frequently feel like, in our various day to day tasks, that we too are running in circles, especially if we lose sight of the reasons for those tasks and the people — God’s people — we encounter while doing them.  Particularly as Holy Week approaches, days can grow very long and stressful with the many different preparations demanded of us before Easter.

A modern-day parable — not an original one — maybe helpful in this circumstance.  It seems, one day, a man came upon a group of laborers, stone masons.  He approached the first to ask what he was doing that day.  Barely looking up from his work, the man grumbled, “I’m laying bricks,” and with a sigh continued his labors.  Approaching a second worker, the man asked him this same question. “I’m making a wall,” the worker said, pausing to look left and right at the long expanse already partially created.  Then the man walked up to the third worker.  “What are you doing today?” he asked him.  Putting down his tools, the mason gestured that the man should follow him a few steps away.  Turning back around to his work, the laborer spread his arms wide and exclaimed, “I’m building a church!”

So it is with our day to day lives, if we pause a few moments to ponder our work in the vineyard.  What is the expression, if we don’t have ten minutes a day during which we can pray, we should instead pray for twenty minutes?  Find some time, these next couple weeks, to contemplate during all the busy-ness — which can at times seem like we are just fortifying a wall or even just moving heavy stones from Point A to Point B — how we are in fact building a church: a sacred assembly of God’s holy people, the body of Christ present in the world.

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