June 13, 2023

From the Rector…

The church has always marked the changing of the seasons—not necessarily nature’s four seasons, but the seasons of the church year—an ancient calendar that has helped Christian’s mark time throughout the millennia. We continue to mark time in this way. Hopefully you’ve noticed that the color of the altar hangings and priest vestments change throughout the year. In the past few weeks, that change was made several times. We went from white at Easter to red for the Day of Pentecost back to white for Trinity Sunday and now green for the Season after Pentecost.

During this Season after Pentecost that will last until Advent, the color will remain green though we will change the green hangings midway through the season as has been our particular tradition at CoA. In the summer, we use what is affectionally known as the “Waldo Hangings” given in honor and memory of the beloved Rev. Mark Waldo, Sr. by family and friends. The hangings and vestments have a swirl of green, a little blue, orange yellow, and red. The effect of the curvy lines, silk fabric, and use of color always reminds me of creation. And maybe that is exactly what they are supposed to be reminiscent of as the name of this particular design and symbol is the “Breath of God” collection.

Breath on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.

These words come from hymn 508 in our hymnal and were the inspiration of the design on our hangings and vestments. They remind me not only of the Holy Spirit’s ever presence in the world—but that the Spirit’s presence has been here since the world was created when God, “breathed across the waters’ (Genesis 1:2). The world was a shapeless void then and it was from this that God began to cast a vision that continues to see its fulfillment in the likes of you and me. 

We live in the breath of God—how cool is that? When I think about what that means and the possibilities that God invites me into, I am filled with hope and joy and delight. The world has forgotten where we live. It will tell you we live in the place of despair and crime and politics and anger and disagreement and limitation—the place where there is never enough, and we can never be enough. But God would have us live in God’s breath—in the place where there is not simply enough, there is abundance, there is wonder, there is creative and life-giving purpose; where we are not only worthy, we are deserving of God’s love, of love for one another, of love for ourselves.

Breath on me, Breath of God—remind me that I am worthy and deserving and renewed by your Holy Spirit in this time and for all of eternity. And help me to remember that about everyone else I meet this day and the next and for all of eternity. Breath on me, Breath of God and fill me with your life-giving Spirit, with your hope, your joy, your delight. That is my prayer this Season after Pentecost. It fills my heart, my mind, my soul every time I walk into the nave and see those hangings. It carries me forth into a world filled with doubt and despair that I might not be distracted by those purposes’ contrary to God’s joy. 

I hope that as you come and worship in this space in this season, it might serve as an invitation into all the possibilities that God holds for you.

Light and Life,