Psalm 41,52 or 44
1 Corinthians 1:1-19
Pathways Through Lent does not include reflections on Sundays, but in my own reflecting upon yesterday’s Gospel, Matthew 4:1-11, the first two verses reminded me of the spiritual journey, the wanderings, my wife, Linda, and I have experienced for the past year: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”
Last year, Linda was called to the position of Director of Development at Virginia Theological Seminary after having served for seven years as the Director of Stewardship, Development and Communications at our church in Alexandria. One of the first things her supervisor recommended was that she take a sabbatical from our church to make the transition from staff back to parishioner. We accepted this challenge and began to visit other Episcopal churches in the area, not with the intent of finding a new church home. Linda explained our “church wandering” in a mentoring session with a retired priest and friend. He told her, “If you are telling me that your church in Alexandria is your church home and you are just visiting other churches, that’s fine. But, if you don’t have a church home and are just wandering, that is not good.”
The weekend of November 8-10, 2013, Linda represented the Seminary at the Diocesan Council of Southeast Florida in Miami. The keynote speaker for the Council, and preacher at Trinity Cathedral on Sunday, was The Reverend Luis Leon. In our church wanderings, St. John’s Lafayette Square was on our list of churches to visit, but we had not yet done so. We attended the Sunday Eucharist to hear his sermon and he delivered a very inspiring message full of personal testimony, humor and an understandable explanation of the Gospel reading.
The following Sunday we began attending services at St. John’s. We were hungry for this kind of message, and the music, fellowship and beauty of St. John’s have kept us coming back for more. The wandering is over.
– Jeff Dienno