Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Spirituality of Advent, Day 3, Week 1

Looking back at yesterday's blog entry all I can say is that it showed how little faith I have sometimes.  Looking forward from yesterday, I can say that I, who was part of the ministry team, received what was probably some of the most powerful ministering yesterday.  Funny how that happens sometimes.  I hope others received something from my ministry as well--in fact, I'm sure some people did based on comments.  

The biggest thing that from yesterday's blog entry that was proven absolutely wrong was that I would be surrounded by people but somehow feeling alone.  I can assure you that did not happen.

Matthew 18:20 should have given me a clue in advance that I would not need to worry:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
There were many gathered in God's name yesterday to honor Greg Smith.  To read about the man I was there to honor here is a link to the obituary.  I heard one friend in the worship band describe him as a "mover and a shaker."

The obituary, the number of people at church (a standing room only Catholic church), the stories told about him during the homily (Fr. Hank Hilton focused again and again on Greg's grateful heart), the stories told about him during the eulogy that his brother made it through without losing it all point to one thing--how much he was loved.

And seeing that, I cannot think of how anyone in the church, myself included, could have felt alone.

I received one hug that I needed.  I gave one hug that someone else needed.  And I felt the joy and power of the experiences that so many had had along the way of the life we were celebrating.  

No matter what has kept me from playing my bass with the worship band since Confirmation (lack of time due to the new job or otherwise), yesterday was a true blessing.  

A blessing that the group I played with still cares about me.

A blessing that after six months, I was weak in a few spots, but I had pretty much not lost my touch with the bass.

A blessing to hear of the love that so many felt for and from the man whose life we were celebrating.

A blessing to see how many people could come together to celebrate life, support the family, and support each other.

The thought that maybe this is what I teach my children about in Sunday school sometimes--if there ever was an example of how we can experience God's kingdom here on earth, the inside of St. Pius X yesterday between 10 and 11:30 was it.  A unity of purpose.  A serene experience.  Nothing but love.  

I wouldn't have been surprised if there was a halo of light around the church yesterday representing the glory and power of God for all the world to see.  

Hope was waning when I wrote yesterday morning.  I could talk about the hope of resurrection but I felt an emptiness of hope inside my heart.

Hope has been restored heading into the rest of the week and beyond.  I must remember Matthew 18:20 and recognize that that alone should give me hope when I am gathered with others to truly focus on God's gifts.

Hope is waiting for me to keep it close to my heart as long as I want to.  It is only when I let go that it ceases to be there.  

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