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3.07.2006

Is it over yet. . .

Today I needed a reminder of why I am here. It is the last week of field education and, let’s face it, I feel like I’m ready for the “real stuff” now – whatever that means! Why does it matter that I sit at St. Nicholas on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays and some Thursdays and Fridays when there are relatively few parishioners who stop by – and those who do are here largely for ministries of their own, not seeking ministry? Today, I received a reminder.

One of the men from the AA group that meets here everyday at noon, came into the office and said, why do we have Lent for six weeks. As I explained the 40 days of Lent – relating the days both to the time of Noah and the flood and to Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness – it became real to me once more. He was concerned because he couldn’t find any biblical warrant for this period of 40 days of fasting and I explained that it was actually an invention of the church that – if the Ash Wednesday sermon which Manny preached is correct (and I have no reason to doubt its veracity) – emerged in the 8th century with Charlemagne. The man from AA looked at me in silence for a moment and then said, “I think you mean created, not invented – that’s more in line with what God asks us to do.” I smiled back and said, “Thank you. You’re right. I’ll remember that – created, not invented.”

This is why it matters that I sit at St. Nicholas even when relatively few parishioners stop by. I am here to minister to those who are here and they, in turn, are here to minister to me – all in the name of the One Lord and Creator of us all.

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