Thoughts from Fr. Marshall - All Saints Episcopal Church
 
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The violence in Tuscon, like the instances of violence we have experienced in this country with horrible regularity, tend to leave us with questions profound and powerful-- questions as a society and sometimes as individuals.  Questions of and about our faiths.                                                                                                                                         

Let me propose to you the idea that the very central image of the Christian faith is aimed at addressing these most horrible moments that may come into our lives. The real life lessons that the liturgy and sacramental and prayer life of the church are intended to teach us are not only for day to day, peaceful life but for the eventuality of having to face even these most horrible events.                               
Christina Taylor Green, the nine year old who died in Tuscon, left behind two parents and a brother. In a way, she became the child of all of us. She died at the hands of a madman. She died in her innocence and her curiosity. It is difficult to make sense of such a senseless death.

It points out to us how fragile life is and how interdependent we are as human beings. We discovered that on a global scale on the day Christina was born. We are, for good and ill, all in this together. What happens in every society on the planet now clearly happens to all and can and will ultimately effect all.

The message of the cross is that nothing, even this horror, can separate us from the Love of God. As Jesus did, we may feel abandoned, but, we never are, even for one second.

This understanding of our interdependence and ultimate oneness, all of us including the sick and mad, countered by an understanding of the constant Love of God which sustains and upholds us even in the face of  tragedy and horror, while not stopping the horror from manifesting keeps us from being enslaved to fear and gives us freedom and strength for life, not just in the by and by but in the here and now.

This is to say, living in the light of the Paschal Mystery, the knowledge of the Resurrection,  makes us sons and daughters of Light. Our human bodies are still fragile bags of mostly water but our essential Being is of the very substance of the Divine.

The greater our awareness of our true nature as daughters and sons of the Light the greater our power for living transformed and transfigured lives and the greater our ability to participate in the healing of the world.

Jesus' power to heal came from his humanity in perfect alignment with his Father's will. He taught his followers the same lessons and helped them to understand the same gifts of healing. I believe they are still there for us. They may manifest in different ways but beyond fear and cynicism there is healing and power beyond all knowing. The power source is never withdrawn, never waivers. The power is the Love of God which is both shown to us and demonstrated in the face of the horror at the cross of Christ.

Love and light,
Lewis Marshall
 



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