Monday, August 10, 2020
It has been a long fallow period in the world, and on this blog. Not so in life--work continues, co-writing with a good friend a project regarding Anthony Trollpe (more to come!), and other events have made the plague time pass. But yesterday, fter six months away (one and a half due to healing from an operation, the rest due to the Coronavirus), I returned home to St. Bartholomew's Church, whre I have been a regular attendee since 2007 (occasional attendee even earler--mid 1990s), where I became an acolyte, from where my wife and I were married, where I discerned a call to the vocational diaconate, and where I returned as deacon in 2014, and have served since. In the video above, the Church is mostly empty. The Rev. Susan Anderson-Smith and teh Rev. Deborah Lee preside and preach respectively, and I have the honor, forthe first time since early in this bizarre, calmitous year, of reading the lessons, leading the psalm, proclaining the Gospel, and dismissing the people. Fittingly enough, the prescribed dismissal was that used by J.D. Clarke, my beloved predecessor and mentor as St. Barts's deacon: "Let go into the World, rejoicing in the Power of the Spirit!" After a long adventitious exile, I had come home. And tonight, I remember the beautiful words of Be Jonson's "A Farewell to the World": But what we're born for, we must bear: Our frail condition it is such That what to all may happen here, If 't chance to me, I must not grutch. Else I my state should much mistake To harbour a divided thought From all my kind—that, for my sake, There should a miracle be wrought. No, I do know that I was born To age, misfortune, sickness, grief: But I will bear these with that scorn As shall not need thy false relief. Nor for my peace will I go far, As wanderers do, that still do roam; But make my strengths, such as they are, Here in my bosom, and at home.