Rebuilding the Church

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me.” – Is. 6:8

At the dilapidated church of San Damiano, Francis of Assisi prayed, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” Francis heard a reply, “Go and rebuild my church, which, as you see, is falling down.”

Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.” – St. Teresa of Avila

Isaiah saw a vision of the LORD in his holy temple and attending seraphs who called out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” While in that vision Isaiah realizes God is looking for someone to send and speak a message to his people. Isaiah famously replies, “Here am I; send me.”

Initially Francis thought God was telling him to repair the little church in which he had prayed. Eventually, however, he came to learn that he was being called to repair the larger church which was, at this point in time, close to collapsing due to corruption and strife.

Neither Saint John's nor the wider church is collapsing, but both are in need of attention. As we move out of the COVID pandemic there are challenges we face. We are learning how to be the church in a different world than we were just three years ago, and certainly different than from 20, 30, 40-plus years ago.

As we come out of the pandemic and look to return and minister in ways that are new, different, and the same, the call of Isaiah and Francis are particularly apt for us today. Saint John's has a lot of moving parts, both with our Commissions that offer a variety of ministries, and in a liturgy that offers a variety of opportunities to serve.

This Sunday, October 16, is Commission Sunday. Each Commission will have a table set up after each service with information about what they do and a chance to sign up to participate. You don't have to sign up for everything, but over the next few days I encourage you to prayerfully consider what talents you might offer for the good of the church. Are you a singer? Do you enjoy gardening? Are you a financial whiz? Would you like to play a larger role in the Sunday liturgy? All these and more are areas we are working to build up as we continue to learn how to move forward in our post-pandemic world.

We find ourselves at a time of rebuilding. God is asking, “Whom shall I send?” It has been a difficult 2-1/2 years, and we are being called to rebuild the church. As St. Teresa of Avila reminds us, we are the body, feet, hands, and eyes of Christ, and now is the time to put them to good use.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. And if you can't be with us in person, please return a Time and Talent sheet offering your gifts to the church as we look to actively be the church in the world.



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