Thursday, January 17, 2008

who we are...where we came from

The past two weeks Fr. Tim has been using an army chant to direct his sermons. Everywhere we go - People want to know - Who we are.

This past week we looked at who we are via where we have come from. Fr. Tim focused on a) all different walks of life, b) the waters of baptism and c) we come from Christ, who sends us into the world. Our identity comes from our history and in particular a story that has been passed down through generations and traditions. But this is not just historical or present reality. Who we are suggests telos as well. Who we are tells us also, as Fr. Tim pointed, what we are to do along the way.

All of this came marvelously alive as we returned to the liturgy in preparation for the Eucharist. During Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, our congregation is using a liturgy borrowed from the Anglican Church of Kenya. Before the sanctus is sung, the celebrant recounts the story of Israel and the church by saying,

“From a wondering nomad you created your family; for a burdened people you raised up a leader; for a confused nation you chose a king; for a rebellious crowd you sent your prophets. In these last days you have sentus your Son, your perfect image, bringing your kingdom, revealing your will, dying, rising, reigning remaking your people for yourself. Through him you have poured out the Holy Spirit, filling us with light and life….”

Fr. Tim’s sermon prepared me once again to claim this story as my own history. This is my family’s story. Through faith we are incorporated into this powerful narrative that when we say who we are, we are telling the story and history of our faith.