Tabula Rasa

A clean slate. A fresh start. This is what we hope and long for after a long 15 or so months. Luckily, with winter over and the summer now showing itself in its full force, we can finally go and get some fresh air. Go outside and hang out with family. If we get up early enough we can even catch the beauty of a sunrise. There is something about the sunlight hitting you that rejuvenates you. Makes you feel whole again.

One of the beauties of a sunrise is that just before you see the sun you begin to see its light shining over the land. All the darkness that hid so much from us slowly starts to slip away, until everything comes into view. It is no wonder that our faith keeps turning us back towards the light. Our faith has a way of getting rid of the past darkness, freeing us from it, so that we can continue our journey forward as stewards for the day ahead of us.

This is what I think of when I pray over the last year as I have a simple conversation with Jesus. I remember that prayer is the language of hope—where we reach out and have a one-on-one with our God who has been waiting for us all along. He is inviting us into something more beautiful than we could have ever wished for, an intimate relationship with Him. He is inviting us to look beyond our past and look toward His future, His life and His light. A clean slate and a fresh start.

I believe we need that now more than ever. It seems we have started making it through the brunt of the isolations and the quarantines with Him always at our side. Maybe these past months have opened our eyes even wider to our need of Him. Maybe that is the good we were supposed to see through this pandemic. In the words of C.S Lewis, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” This causes our hearts to cry out all the louder…Jesus, We Trust In You.

– Fr. Chris

Our Journey Back

I pray that all of us had a joyful Thanksgiving and a fresh start to Advent. I hope that it re-energized us as we prepare for Christmas.

For me, Thanksgiving was a time to remember what it was like to see all those who are dear to me—those I love. Once you get past the sugar highs and the sleepiness that follows the big meal, you remember just how important family and those relationships are. To be honest I was pretty tired before I went to those Thanksgiving parties. But there is that energy that you get when you’re with those whom you haven’t seen in awhile.

I guess I never realized what state being quarantined and isolated during Covid had left me in. I had a longing just to be in their presence. There was a fulfillment with them that I had forgotten I needed.

In the seminary, we were told to think of our prayer life in this same way. Once you have experienced the love God wants to share, there is a longing to go back to it. A longing to know that you are not alone, that God is near to you each and every day. It’s almost like when you were dating. You couldn’t wait until the next time you’d be able to see them. Maybe you even had that hesitation and you thought, “Do I call them, or do I wait for them to call me? I don’t want to sound too needy!”

I find it amazing that after so much has changed for us in the last year(ish), He hasn’t. Jesus is still waiting for me to come and speak with Him. Sometimes I forget how much He means to me. He helps me to be centered. He helps me to calm down. He lets me just be me.

Sometimes we need a push, or at least I know I do. Sometimes that excitement for something just over the horizon gives me some initiative. I believe the season of Advent is a push for all of us as we look forward to Christmas. A time to prepare and a time to remember what is really important to us.

Maybe life has gotten in the way of our relationships with each other and with God. Maybe this season couldn’t have come at a better time. Maybe today is the day I start my journey back to both.

– Fr. Chris