Clergy Notes — St. James the Apostle, Sunday July 25, 2021
It has been nearly a year since I first came to St. James’, and in that time, I have come to know many of you through worship, formation sessions, and various other meetings — mostly on Zoom. It feels right that we should begin the return to in-person activities with the celebration of Evensong and Benediction as we mark the feast of our patron saint.
It has been inspiring to see how the community has held together for over a year with only a brief interlude last fall when we were able to meet together in person for worship in the church. Now, as we begin to (cautiously) return to in-person activities, I wonder how this will change our perspective of community once again? Will we try to bury the experiences of the pandemic in our eagerness to return to some semblance of comfort and normalcy? Or will we be forever changed by the storm we have weathered together?
I am reminded of the epilogue in John’s gospel, when Peter and some of the disciples (including our patron) went out fishing; they catch nothing on their own but when the resurrected Jesus (whom they do not yet recognize) tells them where to cast the net, they catch in abundance. After this extraordinary event, Peter realizes it is Jesus on the shore, leaps out of the boat and runs towards him. After all they have been through, what is Jesus doing? Something seemingly so ordinary . . . he is making them breakfast.
I think that as we look towards the celebration of our patron, St. James, we can be inspired by this story. The disciples had just been through a harrowing time. They were trying in their own way to return to some semblance of normalcy but couldn’t seem to make it work … until the resurrected Jesus appeared, and told them to try something new . . . and then he fed them.
As we return slowly to our familiar and beloved in-person activities, there will be some adjustments. There will be new experiences as well as old, familiar ones. There will be extraordinary moments. And when we are weary, we know that we can always run to our beloved Lord, who knows how to meet us in the ordinary, and who will never fail to feed us.
Download the Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home St. James Day Sun July 25 2021