Cathedral News, November 5, 2017


One of the things that came to mind for me while reading this Sunday’s Gospel reading is chaos. In this Gospel reading, Jesus stills the voice of chaos, situating himself in the same position as the spirit moving over the deep in creation. This is part of the power of this moment for his disciples.  The seas, winds, and storms were thought to be uncontrollable agents in the world around them that only God could command.

It is hard to read this passage and not see parallels both in my own personal life, which is at times fraught with chaos much like many of yours, and our corporate life, which has entered into a new period of change and discernment. The thing that stood out for me in the parallel between this passage and Genesis 1 is that chaos is the raw stuff of creation. Many people in Christian history have made a habit of reading the First Creation Story as though God created the world and everything in it out of thin air. You could certainly interpret the words that way, but sometimes when I read it I am tempted to say that God created the world from chaos, not out of nothing. Rather than get trapped in the logistics, I would encourage you to see what that means, and how it can be useful in our lives and in our faith.

There is a such thing as a holy mess. God made sure to say, after seeing creation, that it was very good. He did not say that it was very nice, that it was very clean, that it was very cut and dry. God has made a living from coming into the messy parts of life and reshaping them into something beautiful, and God does this best when God is invited to do so.

This is something that the staff and I are working to keep in mind as we prepare for the next part of our journey together. All of us love this community we are called to serve, but this doesn’t mean that we are blind to where we can do better. And moving toward doing better does not mean that we do not acknowledge and admire the work of the great friend and mentor we say goodbye to today.

Mark’s vision of a place with beautiful music and liturgy, generous outreach to the community, and overwhelming hospitality will have a lasting impact on St. John’s Cathedral. As we look toward the coming transition, we will invite God to create beauty even in the messy parts of our life together and I invite all of you to be a part of that process.

Read the rest of the announcements.