LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Dear People of Saint Timothy’s Parish:
During the eleven months I have been with you as your interim rector, I have used this space in our monthly “Tidings” newsletter for several purposes: to inform, to teach, to encourage, to reflect, and (at least at times, I hope) to inspire. You have heard from me on any number of matters and concerns—practical, personal, liturgical, and theological. In this last article that I write for you before I finish my term as your interim rector at the end of this month, I want to stress only one thing, and I want to stress it with all the grace and boldness that God will grant me.
The importance of that one thing has been repeatedly emphasized to me throughout my ministry, including a wonderfully powerful sermon preached by my first rector when I myself became rector of a parish for the first time back in 1982. It has proven to be the foundational bedrock for everything else that I do in life—and, when I build upon that bedrock, instead of trying to build around it, I find the authenticity of the Gospel message confirmed in all my life and ministry. And that one thing is also, coincidentally, the very theme of one of the Scripture lessons appointed for the first Sunday in February of this year (Epiphany 4), for which I am now writing a sermon even as I write this newsletter article.
That Lesson is taken from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians [1:1-13], a portion of the Scriptures oftentimes used during marriage services—and certainly appropriately so, although its real importance can never be confined to marriage alone. That Lesson’s them is exactly the same thing I want to emphasize to you now in this last newsletter article that I write for you:
LOVE ONE ANOTHER. And do it boldly as it is printed in this font, underlined as the most important thing you can ever do in life, capitalized to remind you to do it, and italicized because the author of the command to do it is none other than God himself. If you love one another in that way, according to God’s own command, “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”—Julian of Norwich Blessings always, Douglas+