Festival of Renewal

What follows is a summary - in a less structured manner - of this morning's sermon themes (preached at St. Barnabas - Villas).

The lectionary reading from the Hebrew Scriptures today comes from Exodus:
This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. (Exod. 12:14).

The first day of school, the first day of Sunday school - a time of new beginnings. Last week I talked about the many times we celebrate the "new year" throughout the year -- Advent 1, New Year's Day, and back-to-school. Today, I explored the unique aspects of the "day of remembrance" described in Exodus - a day when each family will obtain a lamb and each will receive according to the number of persons to be fed. God's economy. Not an economy that says your family of 10 paid 25% while our family of 3 paid 75%, therefore, 1/4 for you, and 3/4 for us. No, an economy that says, you will receive enough for your family of 10 and I will receive enough for my family of 3 - the payment is not the issue. Having enough is the issue. God's economy.

I explored the meaning of partnership - our partnership with St. Mary's - Stone Harbor. In our society's economy, St. Mary's, by rights, should be the leader in our partnership - they should call the shots, have more than us, and dictate the direction we will move in. However, that is not what is happening. We are living into God's economy - an economy that calls partners "companions." The word's etymology:
1297, from O.Fr. compaignon "fellow, mate," from L.L. companionem (nom.
companio), lit. "bread fellow, messmate," from L. com- "with" + panis "bread." Found first in 6c. Frankish Lex Salica, and probably a translation of a Gmc. word (cf. Gothic gahlaiba "messmate," from hlaib "loaf of bread"). Replaced O.E. gefera "traveling companion," from faran "go, fare." [emphasis added; source: Online Etymology Dictionary]

Companions in ministry - persons who share bread together, who witness together, who share stories together. God's economy. Several years ago the Episcopal Church published a document called Companions in Transformation. It was a resource on global mission, but has proven helpful as I've considered the partnership between St. Mary's and St. Barnabas - a partnership of "unequals" in society's economy; but a partnership in Christ in God's economy.