How can you have anything but a great time when you have choir rehearsal, Mass, dinner and Bible Study? We finished our study of the Book of Acts last night with a rousing discussion of Paul's last days, the ongoing mission of the Church and the words of the Prophet Isaiah which Paul spoke to the Jews in Rome (see Acts 28: 23ff). These words from God which the prophet had spoken to the Hebrew people should resonate with us today, I think. "You shall indeed hear but not understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive."
There are times when those words apply to us today just as much as they did when Isaiah first spoke them. Can we honestly say that we hear what God speaks to us through Holy Scripture, or that we see Him in our neighbors as we should? Do we read His Word as we should, or do we seek to live out His Commandments as we ought? Do we turn to our Father every day when we rise and do we commit ourselves to conform ourselves to His Will?
The Book of Acts ends with Paul "preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered." To be disciples of Jesus of Christ we must spend time learning and living the Word delivered to us through his Apostles to his Church. We must spend time with Christ in Holy Scripture. We must put into practice what we learn and make ours a Christian life well lived in love and service to God. In this, we find that we may show the way to others and may support others as they strive to live a life dedicated to the Word of God.
In other business last night, we decided that beginning next week, January 26, we will begin a study of the Church which I am calling Anglicanism 101. It is a refresher course in things Anglican and is meant to give folks on opportunity to learn or re-learn many basic principles and facts about our Church. The syllabus for this class looks something like this:
January 26: Liturgy - A tour of the Church with discussion of our tradition and liturgy
February 2: Sacraments - The seven Sacraments of the Church
February 9: The Book of Common Prayer - Cranmer's Legacy
February 16: The Seasons, Fasts and Feasts of the Church - What do all those colors mean?
February 23: The Episcopal Church of the United States of America - Why we are who we are
March 2: Wrapping up loose ends and general discussion
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 9, so there will be no dinner or Bible Study that night. There will be Mass with the Imposition of Ashes in the Church at 7:00PM. Beginning on March 16, we will begin a study of Exodus which will run through the season of Lent. We will continue to have choir practice, Mass, dinner and Bible Study according to our normal schedule during Lent, but the meals will be very simple, consisting of soup and bread. Looking even further into the future, our study for the season of Easter will be "Jesus of Nazareth" by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).
I would like to encourage everyone to come and join us on Wednesday night. Coming together to worship, to share a meal and to study the Word of God are important ways that we grow in our relationship with the Father and make ourselves disciples to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Everyone is welcome. Please, bring a friend.