“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.”
This is a great week to be a priest. Or at least a great week to be your priest! On friday we rehearse for Jeffrey and Jennifer’s Wedding, on Saturday we celebrate the big day, on Sunday we baptize baby Eleanor Grace Leeds, and then we start preparing for the Boltonstock Festival on Saturday and the Bishop’s visitation on Pentecost and four confirmations that day.
Lots of Fellowship, Joy, Blessing and Peace coming up. And a big part of why it is such a joy to be with you all at Memorial. Because we are a community that cares for about Jesus and about each other.
And it is not inconsequential that in the midst of that, we are taking time on June 5th as a community to get trained in the use of NARCAN - a life saving drug that can bring joy, blessing and peace to people in their worst moments. It is one example of how we can be better neighbors to our wider neighborhood. Because in the midst of these many celebrations over the next few weeks - we are also not unaware that there is a lot of sorrow surrounding us. Especially as the weather gets warmer, schools close for the summer, and life gets a little bit harder for those on the margins in our city. This escalation perhaps calls something out of us as neighbors — to seek to lessen those burdens, to build relationships, to create more joy and more blessing, more fellowship and more peace among all of our neighbors here in Baltimore.
In the story of the Good Samaritan it was not the priest or the scholar or the relative that was the ‘good neighbor’ - it was the anonymous passerby who shared the love of Christ with the stranger. So I hope you will join us for all of these celebrations, for all of these opportunities to share joy, love and hope with our neighbors, and to make more friends out of strangers.