Hosanna! I am here!

Today is Palm/Passion Sunday.  Our liturgy begins with Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem but ends with the crowd sentencing Him to death. As in our liturgy, the  paradox is very clear in my own spiritual life.

I began this  leg of my Christian walk on an Easter two years ago when I realized, that, for reasons I will not disclose, I needed something more from & with my faith community.

It was on this Sunday, two years ago, when I knew I was being called by God elsewhere. At the time I wasn’t quite sure where God was calling me, but the restlessness I experienced at that last Palm Sunday service in my old Protestant church was palatable.  The way I’d felt there was akin to a Good Friday & Holy Saturday….it was dark, cold & hope-less. I’d truly felt that Christ had left  & that He was not coming back into my life.

Wow…what a difference two years makes. I am completely at peace & making that journey towards the Episcopal Church is the * best* thing that has happened to me in my adult life. I had & continue to have much support in my Christian walk, but it was when I was walking in the darkness of my own  Good Friday of faith that I found my way home.

In retrospect, I now believe that I have always been an Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian. The moment I walked into that church & was absorbed by the liturgy & surrounded by the  Christian love  my parishioners share for each other I * knew* I had to move to another faith community.

My journey had its own stops along the way that were quite painful.  Ties to my old community were severed as I moved forward in the worship, prayer, study & fellowship life of my parish.  Yet as new relationships were formed in my parish & later with people in my Diocese, slowly the Christ-light re-emerged.

We all have crosses to bear & my journey ” home”  came with its own Cross. Not only did I have 20 years of my Christian life as a Protestant as a frame of reference: I also  dealt with the sad fact  of the all-too-human sin of pride.  Some people quit talking to me, people whom I had known for years & thought loved me. It hurt.

My personal” Easter” occurred in two parts . First, I was confirmed into The Episcopal Church on May 17, 2009, a date which also happened to be my 33rd birthday.   My ” official” entry into The Episcopal Church was marked with a full high Church Mass at which my diocesan Bishop presided & a reception at which my parishioners & other important people in my life showered me with gifts.

The second part of my first ” Episcopal Easter”  occurred at Christ Church Parish in Pensacola where I represented my parish as one of three laypeople who got to attend a Mass with & later meet Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori.  Bishop Katharine, about whom I’d known very little until I started  reading & researching all things Episcopalian, is someone to whom I look up. At the reception following the Mass at Christ Church I shyly told Bishop Katharine that I was newly confirmed. She said. “Congratulations & welcome”

Hosanna. I am here! Amen

Palm Sunday 2010

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