Tonight's service was another example of the frustrations and strange wonders of Calvary Episcopal. I arrived worn out and wanting to just sit down and rest, and at first, the music seemed overdone. Then Rev. Brewer's sermon on the Gospel reading about "those who want to save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives for my sake shall save them." Brewer talked about the death of self as what God is demanding of us, to bring us into a greater relationship with him.
Actually, I think even Rev. Jacob realized that Brewer's words were too much and added afterwards, "Along with the demand for death is the promise of resurrection in Him, and new life."
I felt a bit overpowered by the sermon, as usual, but still something about the church spoke to me tonight as it has been for a long time. When I stand in that church, and raise my head to look into the buttresses in the ceilings, I find myself LISTENING to the quiet. In the silence, where previously I might have found myself looking for sound and noise, instead I find myself listening to the silence, longing for it, because I feel there is something calling me there.
Likewise, I felt called to be prayed for after taking communion, yet I had no idea what I wanted to say, and in fact didn't really have anything to say at all. I just bowed my head and asked for a blessing, which Katie, one of the church members, gave freely and wonderfully.
And I left church smiling like the cat that found the...wait what's that expression? Well, I left smiling. Listening to the night on 5th Avenue, my head lifted, taking it in. It's a powerful thing to actually feel like you're being called, and I'm doing my best to listen.
So yet again, in spite of my own frustrations and occasional wondering of what brings me there, Calvary has caught me once more. Something is calling me there and speaking to me, and I am enraptured by whatever it is. And that state is so rare these days, that sense of wonder and awe. I consider it a gift. And I thank God for it.
The song tonight that struck me most was "Here in Your Presence," for obvious reasons. You can find the song by New Life Worship here.