A little thought will show you how vastly your own happiness depends on the way other people bear themselves toward you...
Turn the idea around, and remember that just so much you are adding to the pleasure or the misery of other people's days. And this is the half of the matter which you can control. Whether any particular day shall bring to you more of happiness or of suffering is largely beyond your power to determine. Whether each day of your life shall give happiness or suffering rests with yourself.
George S. Merriam
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The phrase Christopher used this morning in his brief sermon (Palm Sunday's sermon is always short with the long Gospel reading. It's one of those, "'nuff said" kinda scriptures), was "semper referendum". He interpreted that to mean, "Always in need of reform".
Funny but that's almost another one of those, 'nuff said kinda things too. He was talking about our baptisms and how one is really enough, as is stated in the Nicene Creed. It's enough, but not the thing that saves us. An anecdote Christopher used (and has used before) was the story of an old holy monk who lay on his death bed. His lips were moving and as his disciples came close and asked him what he was saying, he replied, "I'm asking Christ to give me a little more time to repent." Astonished, they remarked to him about what a holy man he is and asked why he, of all people would need to repent. He said, "oh, I have not even begun to repent".
Always... and everyone of us, in need of reform. Yes, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins; the sacrament, "an outward sign of an inward grace..." as the definition goes. It is constant reform, though that will define us in the end. The returning to the communion table, and in our private times with Christ, those are the things that change us. Referendum.
If anything the act of baptism is the thing that acknowledges that we are not unlike everybody else. That nothing, really is different, one of us to another. Baptism marks the inward grace. It isn't until years of maturity sinks into us that we have any hope that reform inside will actually show up on the outside.
I am alone in this, yet another inward grace the outward sign of which is communion. The forest deep and dark, with silent footsteps behind the trees. Hissing smirks of my own demons who would rather I forgot my baptism along with my daily routine of seeking God. Perhaps it is that I have been given a little more time to repent. Or just to know the truth of being reformed. Either way, I'm happy that I'm not unlike you, reader. Be it void or warm light, only inward grace can complete the equation of a sacrament.