Sunday, April 4, 2010
He's Not a Tame Lion. But He's Good!
I think if you went to Oxford randomly this spring, you would find me at Holy Trinity Church (C. S. Lewis' church where he went and is buried; and I can walk to!). It's just a small poor country parish full of all ages of the nicest, most inviting, hungry for Jesus, full of wisdom, joyful people I've met! Thank You Jesus, I found a place to talk about You and praise You! So the Anglican tradition is very different from what I have known church to be my whole life, but if you know me at all, you know that I love trying and experiencing new things. I think that might be one of my most favorite things about myself, because it pays off way more than backfires. :)
Yesterday night I went to their Easter Vigil service and I was struck then by how much these people really love Jesus here and are actively being Jesus to each other in the way they're all in each others lives and helping each other through their rough times, as well as reaching out to people who aren't even apart of their church, but need help (like this guy I met today after church in the "Coach Room" for coffee and biscuits who had been into drugs and alcohol, but they helped him through his struggle to quit and now he works for a drug rehab center to help others and is so excited about being sober and sharing his testimony).
After a charming and heartfelt Easter service, I was invited to have Easter dinner at a retired clergy member and his wife, a retired clergy member friend, and a mother and her adult daughter (all just friends from the parish and the mom and daughter biked to their house!). And I had such a wonderful time with them! I felt like I had known them forever and they were family. They were so inviting. And David, the retired vicar, sat with me while his wife was finishing up making the meal and we were awaiting the arrival of the other guests and we talked about literature, what makes our heart's sing, and about what has inspired us to go deeper in our relationship with Jesus. It was so refreshing! He was talking about what he loved about theology and how excited he was to see the new clergy members that he mentors really finding a personal relationship with God and not just head knowledge. And when he found out how much I liked dancing in worship, he started trying to figure out how that could be added into the services at Holy Trinity (however, dancing on solid stone floors with precarious relics to be potentially kicked and knocked over would be rather rough!).
And my favorite part of the service today was: After it ended, it is their tradition to all squeeze into the choir section in the front part of the church and sing the Hallelujah Chorus at the top of their lungs. And I ran up too, squeezed in, and sang at the top of my lungs with them until my throat got all choked up with tears and emotion. I've never loved Easter so much. What an experience! And when I looked around after our last triumphant "Hallelujah," I saw that I wasn't the only one with tears of joy streaming down my face.
Jesus Christ is Risen, and He is so GOOD! (He's not a tame lion. But He's good.)