The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you Peace. (Numbers 6: 24-26)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not Because of Your Righteousness

Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. Dt 9: 6
This, Dear Reader, is a straight-forward admonition from God, through Moses, to the Hebrew people.  Do not think that I am giving you this land, the land which I promised to your forefather Abraham, because you have somehow earned it.  YOU HAVEN'T!  Don't think that you are somehow entitled to this land because of all the great things you have done or the excellent way that you have kept my laws.  YOU HAVEN'T!

God is saying to His People that despite the way they have acted; despite the things that they have done, and left undone; despite their failures to uphold God's commandments and laws; He is delivering them into the land which He had promised to them.  He is giving them a home.  He is providing for them.  He is saving them from the wilderness.

God continues to do that for us everyday of our lives, through Jesus Christ.  We did nothing to deserve Jesus' ministry and teaching.  We did nothing to rate His love.  We, in fact, did everything possible to earn His everlasting condemnation.  Yet, God is a just and loving God, and in Jesus He proves it to us in the most magnificent way.

Jesus Christ died on the cross because that was the sacrifice necessary to wash His stubborn people clean of their sin and wickedness.  By His death, we no longer fear the icy grip of the grave.  We no longer must labor under the weight of sin or be separated from Our Father by anything or anyone.  In Christ, God again tells us that we, stubborn as we are, are worth saving.

Fr. Michael+

Tomorrow is Wednesday!

Everyone remember that our Lenten routine on Wednesday night begins tomorrow.  We will have Mass (according to the 1928 BCP) at 6PM in the Church (not St. Anne's Chapel as we normally do), followed by the Stations of the Cross, and then our Lenten meal of soup and bread.  Then we will kick off our Bible Study of Exodus.

Remember the Anglican Axiom:  "All may; none must; some should!"

See you tomorrow night.

Fr. Michael+

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent is Here!

The Mardi Gras party last night was awesome!  The food was great: Thank you, Jerry and all the folks who prepared and served the food.  I was particularly impressed by the stunning array of beads and even the headgear worn by at least one prominent member of the community.  We definitely let the Good Times Roll.

Now, we turn our attention to the observance of a holy Lent.  Mass with Imposition of Ashes will be offered today at Noon and at 7 PM.  If you cannot come to church today, please give me a call, and I will either bring the ashes to you, or come and visit tomorrow with Communion and a word about this Lenten season.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.  BCP pg. 265
Fr. Michael+

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras Party

Don't forget the Mardi Gras party at Christ Memorial tonight starting at 6 PM.  The food and the company will be great.

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow (and that is a traditional day of fasting), and we will have Mass with Imposition of Ashes at Noon and 7 PM.

Lent is a time of penitential preparation in anticipation of Easter.  Now is the time to decide on what you will give up and what you will take on during this season.  Many choose to give up a type of food or an activity during Lent, and that is a great way to refocus our attention on God.  But it is also very important to take on something that will bring us closer to Him.  Maybe that is a daily reading of Scripture.  Maybe it is reading a book by C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton or St. Augustine or N.T. Wright.  Personally, I am going to sit down with C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.

Lent is also a time of reflection, examination and repentance.  We take this opportunity to consider and to confess all that which has separated us from the God and turn away from those things, setting ourselves, with God's unbounded Grace and Love, on a new path towards Him.

I am available to hear Confessions, by appointment.  Please call me at 318-840-9196.

Fr. Michael+

Friday, March 4, 2011

What Do I Do If I Need to Talk to the Priest?

Dear Reader, the simple answer is to pick up the phone and give me a call.  Part of my vocation, a large part of my vocation, is to be available to those who need me.  That is my desire, to be available and responsive to anyone who may have a simple question and to someone who may need help with a crisis.  If either of those, or any number of other issues, is the case, then please don't hesitate to call me.

My numbers are:  840-9196 (cell)
                            872-1144 (church office)
                            872-1237 (rectory)

My scheduled office hours during the week are:
                    Monday:  9-12
                    Tuesday:  10-12
                    Wednesday:  9-5
                    Thursday:  9-12
                    Friday:  By appointment

I am setting aside on my schedule Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to make scheduled pastoral visits to parishioners at home or in hospital.  Additionally, I am available on Friday by appointment.

If you, or someone you know needs a visit or to have Communion brought to them at home, please let me know so I can schedule a recurring visitation schedule with them.

Please also know that in the case of an emergency, I am available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  My door is always open and my cell phone is always on.

Fr. Michael+