Thursday, April 4, 2013

Grace upon Grace at Grace


We had a glorious Easter service at Grace Church.  Some of the regulars were missing, mostly due to ill health.  But we also had a family of three visiting from another near by community.  The music was very special thanks to friend Ed Dixon, principal cellist for the Walla Walla symphony, who drove up to adorn our worship.  I’m not sure what it is about a cello, but I can’t imagine a better instrument for a small rural church.  Its rich tones didn’t fill the space, they enfolded it in a warm embrace.  We sang lustily and mostly on key.  Anyway, there were twenty-one of us there.

The sermon was OK.  I don’t think I realized until this Easter Sunday just how much I do not like preaching from a prepared text.  For some reason I decided that certain ideas voiced in certain words had to be written out for this service.  The rough ideas laid out in a previous post on this blog were smoothed out and woven together, thanks in part to a nice long clearing of the head conversation with another friend, Tom Davis, who teaches philosophy at Whitman, and with whom I share many cups of coffee while laughing at the absurdities of life in general and our lives in particular.  

This Sunday, with Thomas and his doubts again before us, I shall return to my preferred way of preaching, which is certainly well prepared and much prayed over, but without text or notes.  I have in mind comparing two seemingly unrelated sets of things: the Big Bang and the Resurrection as one, and the progressive revelation of God by God from Abraham to Jesus and the progressive revelation of God by God from the resurrection to 70 c.e. as the other.

If you want to see how that gets worked out, we meet at 9 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Dayton, Washington.  It’s the tiny grey church with the red door on Third a couple of blocks south of Main.  Afterwards, we’ll have coffee hour at the bakery, which is really The Country Cupboard, at least I think that's its proper name because everyone just calls it the bakery.  There won’t be any cello to accompany us, but Tom Herron might bring his pitch pipe to get us started on the right note, more or less.

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