Rector's Chronicle

29 November 2017

I have just finished fellow Christ Church parishioner Eric Motley’s autobiographical work “Madison Park.” In it, three precious lights shine out from its covers: Belonging, Hope and, brightest of all, Thankfulness. It made me think back across my own life and to call up the faces of those who have loved me, sacrificed for me and taught me, by word and example, to have hope in the world and to be able to sense the presence of God in people and in all my wandering way to this date. 

The wonderful American custom of Thanksgiving just past (my second only!) is perhaps born of a national spirit that leans towards adventure and risk taking. When the long pass is caught, the flashing ball is hit against the odds, when the first settlers make it through the first winter in the desolate wilderness, the only natural response is gratitude. That this finds its fullest expression in a circle of faces around a table, places all hope and endeavor in the context of the most human of experiences, belonging. These are who we risk and adventure for.

As we move from Thanksgiving into Advent we turn our eyes from what we have been given and are blessed to have, and look forward to what is to come. 

Christ Church has been thankful, in this 200th Year, for our beginnings in that small gathering in a room on M Street. We have been grateful for each other, for our reverent traditional worship, for the music that lifts our souls and for the service and kindness we are able to do for others in our mission and feeding ministries. We have found a place where Christ’s light shines and where we know we belong. 

Advent now calls us to look forward with hope. Hope for the yearly remembrance of the coming of the Christ child and hope for the years that lie ahead and all that God will achieve in us and our church. It is a long way from Madison Park to Washington DC and from 1817 to 2017, but no distance or challenge is too far for God to bring those who have been loved, sacrificed for, and shown what it means to live with faith and hope. We will travel as far again in his name. Maranatha! Come O Lord!


The Reverend Timothy A. R. Cole