Don’t Take It Personal
I beg of you…, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. Gal. 4:12-20 Paul may have been disappointed, but I don’t believe that he took it personal when the Galatians became persuaded by the Jews to follow ceremonial laws over their relationship to Christ in faith.
This past Sunday I forgot to put on my chasuble (sleeveless outer garment) for the Eucharist. It wasn’t until after the service that I had even recognized the fact that I did not put it on. It happens on occasion and I don’t generally think much about it because it really has nothing to do with the celebration of communion. It’s a man-made addition to the ceremony, in which no one else but the priest gets dressed for the feast, thus simply setting the priest a apart, for which in the Episcopal Church, only the priest can do. However, I often wonder what members of the congregation may be thinking. I wonder if some take offense because somehow being “set apart” with traditions and rituals puts things in perspective for them. I truly enjoy the traditions of my church. As a priest I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve God in the way his people have raised me up to serve. But the reality is that I too am apart of the congregation. What we do together is about life in the spirit which comes from within us. I believe that all of the external things that we do are for our own sake but our relationship with God is about our praise, worship and love for him and our love for one another, not what we look like or do, what we wear, or our gifts. It’s about our faith.