Showing items filed under “Bishop Paul Lambert”

Remembering

When the Holy Eucharist is celebrated there is a place in the Canon of the Mass where we recall our Lord’s words of Institution, “On the night before he died for us…….DO this in remembrance of me,” In theological language we use the Greek “Anemnesis,” to remember. Its essence is more than simply remembering something that occurred a long time ago. Rather, it is calling to the present an event from the past in such a way that we are enabled through the Holy Spirit, to participate in that event in the here and now. It is a dynamic remembering and it brings a deeper meaning to our experience in making our communion.

 We don’t do well in the modern age with remembering. It seems we live in and for the moment neglecting lessons learned in the past. We do this in relationships, politics, history, you name it - we just simply choose to forget. This in and of its-self is not so bad, but when it comes to our relationship with God it can become a disaster for us spiritually. It is no wonder many have lost their way, go astray from the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ - we forgot! We forget God!

In his book “Sacred Journey for a Peaceful Warrior,” Dan Millman recounts the story of a little girl and her special request of her parents. “Soon after her brother was born, little Sachi began to ask her parents to leave her alone with the new baby. They worried that, like most four-year-olds, she might feel jealous and want to hit or shake him, so they said no. But she showed no signs of jealously and she treated the baby with kindness-and her pleas to be left alone with him became more urgent. They decided to allow it.”

“Elated, she went into the baby’s room and shut the door, but it opened a crack- enough for her curious parents to peek in and listen. They saw little Sachi walk quietly up to her baby brother, put her face close to his, and say quietly, “Baby, tell me what God is like. I’m starting to forget.”

What a story, what a thing to ponder. Perhaps we can learn from Sachi’s quest to “know God.” If we believe that all life comes from God, that each of us has our beginning and end in and through God, then is it possible we had knowledge of him at birth. IF so, think of how much time we have spent in forgetting him, overcome by “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” Think of all the opportunities we have squandered to be with God, to be touched by him, to be reconnected to him because we have been pre-occupied by things in this world.

Beloved of the Lord, God desires for us to be with and in him, to know him! He created us with this in mind. It is supposed to be natural for us to know him in everyway that we are able. As we continue our journey through the liturgical year let us do so being mindful of our need for knowing God. Through our prayers, our worship, our study of Holy Scripture, let us be intentional in our desire for knowing God.

I think little Sachi was on to something, don’t you?   “Baby, tell me what God is like. I’m starting to forget.”

God bless and keep you,

 

Bishop Paul

An Easter Message

When I was Consecrated Bishop Suffragan in 2008 I received a painting as a gift. This painting was a reproduction of the “Road to Emmaus” by Conrad Heinrich Bloch, the19th century Danish artist and is one segment of the series Bloch painted on the life of Christ. It hangs above our fireplace in our home and I often pray the morning Office before it to remind me of the truth of the presence of Christ wherever I am. It also serves as a reminder of the great message of Easter and the Resurrection to eternal life promised to all who believe in him.

It also serves as a reminder to me of how easy it is for one to get so overwhelmed in the things of this world that we do not recognize the presence of Christ among us. The disciples on the road to Emmaus were so caught up in their own conversation, their own rehearsal of what they had witnessed earlier that day they were unable to experience the presence of the Risen Lord Jesus in their midst. They knew the story, they heard the witness of those who went to the tomb only to find it empty yet they did not believe in the resurrection.

As I have said in many sermons, we can know the story but until we acknowledge and believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ we will simply continue to wander up the roads of our life with no purpose. It was only when Jesus made himself known to the disciples in the breaking of bread that they “got it!” It completely transformed their lives changing from mere bystanders to active participants in the proclamation of the greatest news known to humanity. It was the experience of the Risen Lord Jesus that completely and unalterably changed their lives.

And so it is for each of us, we too can be transformed by the Risen Lord. Let us not get so caught up in our own lives that we cannot experience the Risen Lord. Let us see this Easter as an opportunity to experience new life, new hope. Let our “hearts burn within us” and experience love and presence of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord!

 

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