Joy has generously told me that I was the person who first suggested to her that members of KC share aspects of their spiritual lives with each other by speaking at Morning Prayer. The thought was that we come together each Sunday but really don’t know each other in important ways. Now that Joy has asked me to take my turn at speaking, I have come to appreciate more fully why we don’t do this at King’s Chapel.
My first thought was that it would be presumptuous of me to stand before you and describe myself as a spiritual person. My second thought was that the first thought was just an excuse for the fact that I couldn’t think of anything to say.
In the process of fearing this moment I have come to appreciate the fact that there is great comfort in the formal liturgy that we repeat each Sunday. It allows us to express our faith, or our lack of it, using a collective voice when we can’t find, or don’t have a personal voice. It’s the safety of singing in the choir rather than singing a solo.
I was raised in a home with two parents who each, for their own separate and very understandable reasons, had no use for organized religion. I started attending King’s Chapel in 1971, after being married by Carl Scovel. For years I came to church sporadically and mostly for the holiday services, Christmas and Easter. When they were old enough, we brought our kids to King’s Chapel for Sunday School.
Through those many years of reading and listening to the King’s Chapel liturgy, I have to admit that it made little sense to me. This morning I will share a story about one time when, due to personal circumstances, I was able to break through that barrier and gain a personal connection to one part of the formal liturgy. I’d say that at this point I understand about five percent of what we say to each other each Sunday, perhaps ten percent. I’m definitely doing better than the one percenters.
It was Easter, and I was listening to the story of the crucifixion. That year, though, I was facing a loss in my family which was very threatening and which I believed represented the end of my life as I knew it. I was hearing for the millionth time about Jesus facing the loss of his life with the faith that there was something better beyond. I realized that I didn’t have that faith, and that my lack of faith was crippling me. I wanted that faith so I just decided I would have it. The years that followed have justified that leap of faith, and for me, now, the Easter story is a true story, which roughly translated means to me that there is always more than what ever it is that I am able to see.
There is always more.