10 April 2010

Paschaltide Thoughts

As the Lenten experience begins to fade into the rearview mirror, and in its own way the Paschal observance - while far from over - seems to be subsiding, I have a few thoughts to share from my prayer and devotional life in recent weeks.

1) Interfacing with mission is hard. As a Church-planter, seeking to establish an orthodox, catholic congregation, it is hard to know what direction to go with things. Do I plant a traditional congregation or a house church? Do we attempt to find one mission and draw from that population, or interface with multiple missions? How do we most wisely spend the money that we have saved to form a congregation? How do we positively engage the community and spread the message about ourselves when we have no facilities, no amenities, and when the main reason we exist is because there isn't another congregation in the area that really gels with our beliefs? These are ongoing questions that are difficult to answer. Being on our own (locally speaking) presents Kristen and I with many challenges in this department that we have not managed to find answers to. We continue to pray, and we continue to evaluate many different ways to engage our community. We discussed another one tonight. Please, dear reader, pray for our discernment as we seek to bring right teaching, reverent worship, and the faith that can save to our local community.

2) The Internet can be such a virulent place. I am not sure of the exact number, but over the time I have been on Facebook, I have had to block at least a half-dozen folks from posting to my wall and newsfeed. Some folks can just be putridly nasty online, thinking that it's okay and somehow socially acceptable. This was why I endeavored to post a daily reflection during the Lenten season over at Facebook - perhaps my post might be something beyond the pale on someone's news feed in that day. Who knows, perhaps it was even a form of evangelism - after a sort, of course. With the Octave of Pascha winding down, I'm not sure I have the ideas to sustain the postings indefinitely, but a great big thank you to all the positive feedback I got from folks in the process. 

3) I am more amazed day by day at the joys, the challenges, and the experience of fatherhood. I can't begin to tell you how it has enhanced my ministry. I now have a whole new set of experiences to draw on with individuals I meet, either in the hospital or in other ministry settings. Just today I was able to engage an individual on the basis of being a dad - something that, a year ago, was an abstract notion to me. 

4) As amazed as I am by my daughter, my wife just excites me! The passion with which she cares for our family, the love she pours out upon Clare and me (and the pooch!)... it's more than I have a right to ask. Sometimes it's when she comes down the steps carrying a 'sack o' taters' (i.e., Clare) with that smile of hers, and other times its while we are making the bed or changing a diaper or doing something else totally mundane, but it is in those moments that I cannot imagine life and the journey of parenthood without her.

5) I am supremely thankful, for God has blessed me beyond any right or expectation I might or should have. A wonderful wife, a wonderful child, a faith that saves, and a Spirit that strengthens... all on account of a Son who died for me. What comforting things to think of as I prepare to lay down my head. I can never be worthy of the blessings God has shown me... I am saved by his grace; I am preserved by his grace; and I am secure in his grace and filled with his peace.

May your Paschaltide be a blessed one!


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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