Faith in Fairfield / Holy time is anytime
Mountains are a good place to meet God. Moses met God on Mount Sinai when he received the Ten Commandments. Jesus was transfigured on the mountaintop; his disciples saw him standing with Moses and Elijah and shining as brightly as the sun. We speak of peak experiences and think of the holy as high. Picture yourself for a moment standing on the roof of the world and watching the sun come up.
Now return to your driveway with snow shovel in hand. Picture a pile of dishes in the sink. The sound of children crying in the back seat. A difficult boss and looming deadline. A familiar marital argument. A dead stop traffic jam on the Merritt.
Even there we can meet God. That's probably when we need to try our hardest to do so. In danger, it is easy to pray. On the mountaintop, praise comes readily to our lips. It's in the old worn groove of the valley that we tend to overlook the surprising face of God. When we are angry and frustrated we are most wrapped up in our selves -- in bondage really, and blind to the divine.
We are halfway through Epiphany, the season in which Christians celebrate the manifestation of God in Christ. It's a good season in which to ask how God is manifest in your life. Not only in the moments of glory or sorrow, but the ordinary holy time.
A friend of mine working in a nursing home makes it her spiritual practice to try to see every person there, no matter how incapacitated, as a unique individual worthy of special care. After all, scripture teaches that we are created in the image of God. I watched a teacher the other day, in the midst of a flurry of preschool activity, listen to the slowly told story of a four year old as if listening to news about the kingdom of heaven.
I was reminded of St. Benedict's rule about welcoming the stranger as if welcoming Christ himself. You never know when God is going to come knocking. The main thing is to keep a look out, and not get stuck watching the reruns on Self TV (where we are all "American idols").
Have some fun too, even in winter. "Rejoice always," St. Paul writes.
Here's an example. Last Sunday at St. Timothy's on Greenfield Hill, we had one of our special Sunday evening services for children and families. We call it Messy Church, and it pretty well answers to that name. The event featured a variety of activities designed to teach experientially the stories and lessons of faith. The theme was transfiguration: How we grow and are transformed throughout our lives, how we encounter God on the mountain and in the valley.
ST. TIMOTHY'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
4670 Congress St., Fairfield
203-255-2740 / www.sttimschurch.org
RECTOR: Rev. Matthew Calkins
HISTORY: Founded as a mission chapel in 1964, formed as a parish in 1968, St Timothy's is a member of the Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Communion of churches.
SPECIAL EVENTS: On Sunday, March 6, the children of the parish will lead the 10 a.m. church service; on Tuesday, March 8 the parish will hold its annual pancake supper with a Mardi Gras theme at which activities will include making masks, donning beads and joining together for a parade and prayers.
PROGRAMS: Men's Sharing Group, Women's Fellowship Group, Children's Christian Education, House Meetings/Dinners, Sunday Forum, Midweek Worship and Study, Community Leadership Training, Membership Class, Children's Choir, Choral Scholars