After long pondering the readings for today, two thoughts stayed with me: community and faith. In Luke, we hear about the community of teachers at the temple that drew Jesus to stay with them for three days until his parents found him. Perhaps he was thrilled at finding like minds for conversation and exploration. I know the joy of finding a compatible group for spiritual or intellectual exploration. The Ascension parish is a community of seekers and teachers who draw me nearer and grow my faith in God.
Our communal care for and support of each other helps ground my faith. We meet together daily or weekly. Seemingly simple, a few or many of us gather each week, more on Sunday, for just this, as people have done for millennia. To me it is no small thing! It is something I love, need and long for. This is how we grow in mind and spirit: my faith builds on yours, each and every one of you. And on the faith of those who have been here before, parishioners I have known who have passed away, along with stories and histories of those I never knew. Just imagining them in past decades and centuries provides stability for faith and community, strengthened by the clergy, order of service, liturgy, buildings, art, and music. For this and much more I am very thankful.