• Liz Gray

Letter from Liz, September 15, 2020: It was all so good!



Psalm 133 (NRSV)

How very good and pleasant it is

when kindred live together in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,

running down upon the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

running down over the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon,

which falls on the mountains of Zion.

For there the Lord ordained his blessing,

life forevermore.


I’m not sure why I love this Psalm quite so much. But it always makes me smile. Perhaps it’s because there is something so delightfully messy about the oil running down Aaron’s beard. Something so generous about an abundance of oil especially when it’s precious. Something so rich about the reminder of God’s over-the-top style when it comes to blessing. And, of course, the reminder, right at the start, that what is being celebrated in the psalm is God’s people living together ‘in unity’. And it is this unity that God celebrates with oil and blessing.


Sitting this morning at my desk I was ‘remembering’ this past Sunday in the park when Incarnation gathered and celebrated two years from ‘going public’. Two years of unity. We rejoiced with a Sunday full of balloons and bunting; delighting in the glories of being together in person! A little moment of ‘dwelling in unity’. It felt rich - as if oil was running over our collars…


It was all SO GOOD.

Our choir sang together for the first time in 6 months...

After 6 months of meeting mostly on zoom it felt wonderful to all be together. Although, many of us do meet ‘in the flesh’ in garden churches or when we are hiking or in some small group gatherings, it's just not the same as ALL worshipping together. At once. In the same physical space. We sang (quietly) and hummed together. We prayed together. We listened to a fabulous sermon from Amy together. Our choir sang.


We contemplated God’s promises together. We delighted in taking communion together. And together we were anointed for the next stage. We asked for and accepted God’s blessing as we contemplated the Fall with all its unknowns. We want to be ready. God’s people with our hearts and minds and lips ready for God’s service.


It was all SO GOOD.


It was so lovely being in a public place - where people could pause and listen and watch as we said the Lord’s prayer. Where kids could stand in a row and gawp with fascination as our kids played with balloons, and leapt around the rocks by the creek.


And to round out a sweet, sweet day some of us met at 5pm for evening prayer when we would normally have had our service. We gathered with beloved friends in Seattle and Boston and Arlington - those who simply could not gather outdoors for reasons of health or distance. We are so grateful for the opportunities zoom offers.


It was all SO GOOD.


(THOUGH: Note to self - i should never be left in charge of technology…. But that’s another story).


And, now like after any good party, once the clear-up is done there is a return to normality. The everyday necessity of zoom and the limitations of social distancing. But we go back refreshed. Reminded that we are not alone. Reminded that we are part of a community, which is part of a global community bound together by God’s blessing, running down our collars...


So what’s next?


Incarnation small groups start this week - have you joined one?


Have you read Josie’s blog and taken some time with Brownstones?


Have you read Beth’s blog and hummed ‘Swing Low sweet chariot?'


Have you read Amy’s blog and thought about the world ‘out there’ and how we can pay attention and help?


And then there is more - come camping in October.. or hike with us on a Saturday.. or simply join us for noonday prayer on any Tuesday or Thursday or best of all - join us for worship on a Sunday evening at 5pm in a garden, in the chapel or on zoom - so good. You would be so welcome.


With a grateful heart,


~Liz


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716 S Glebe Rd.

Arlington, VA 22204  |  Entrance at 8th St S

(657) 522-2041

info@incarnationanglican.org

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