Grace and peace to you as we draw closer to the end of August. It has been a busy week in Chuckatuck – between clearing some of the damage from Tropical Storm Isaias, to James River Tree Service taking 3 trees out of the yard, to the yard service and Charles cutting the front and back portion of the property, a graveside service, and being notified of the passing of Kevin after his battle with cancer. Yet, in all this, we were able to work together as a Parish family to reach out and help our members and our community as it deals with life in the middle of Coronatide. We will miss gathering for “Crabs & Brats” next Sunday but may try to figure out how to celebrate anyway. Today was a blessing in other ways too, watching a hummingbird watching itself in my office window and watching the butterfly visit the flowers in the wreath at Jim’s grave site. Beauty in the middle of sorrow.

Our worship today was punctuated by readings about the tension of real life and how a functioning community works in the middle of the tension. We were reminded that it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit and remembering God’s grace that we are able to gather as followers of God. Our Hebrew scripture today was the story of Israel’s oppression in Egypt by Pharaoh and the birth and deliverance of Moses from death. The Psalmist reminds us that, “If the Lord had not been on our side…” we would be without hope. Our Gospel reading from Matthew was Peter’s announcement that Jesus is the Son of God when he was asked “who do you say I am?” Today’s sermon focused on the reading from Romans and Paul’s reminder that we are called as believers to not be conformed to the world, rather to be transformed by trying to discern God’s will. Paul also reminds us that every part of the community is essential for the community to be fully functional – especially those parts which appear less important. The life we live, just like the life Paul lived, is filled with life and death decisions. Thankfully, in God we find success in the tension of life.

I invite your comments,

Readings: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Video from August 23 worship:

Check this out on Chirbit