Article | October 19, 2018
Lectionary Reflection: Cathedral School for Boys Sunday
Blog|The Rev. Canon Anna E. Rossi
Job 38:1-7; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:35-45
Our culture suffers from its fantasies about beginnings and endings. Think apocalyptic fiction or the race to patent and store seeds. Let’s call it a shared affliction: we fantasize about the places that are most unlike our actual lives. Like Job, we weren’t there in the beginning when the foundations were laid, and like the disciples, we can’t reserve seats for the grand finale. Rather, we come to God and another, in this messy, mysterious middle.
To cast God to the extremes and reduce our in-between to its tempests and trials is to miss the point. We can experience theophany — God’s self-disclosure — in a new and richer way. The scriptures are clear: God’s self-disclosure is not an anesthetic. Job is still in the whirlwind; Jesus’ baptism and cup is still the cross and tomb. But God is there calling her followers out and through times of betrayal, trial and doubt, into the beloved community we were created to be.
Living into our belovedness summons our best efforts. But it’s not striving. To strive is to “know” that God has left us to the whirlwind, or that we can secure spiritual prizes. Rather, we are summoned to serve. To serve is to trust God working in-between, among our fellow travelers, and even our detractors and trials. To serve is to hear the call: “Will you be baptized with my baptism?” and in humility, respond: “I will, with God’s help.”
Anna E. Rossi has served in multiple roles on the Grace Cathedral staff, most recently as Succentor. A seminary graduate, Anna is sponsored by this cathedral congregation in a process to be ordained a priest in The Episcopal Church.