Sunday, June 12, 2005

Making a Promise

Today I stood before the faith community of Sts. Peter and Paul parish. And I made a promise. It was a vow, stated before others. When vows are stated before others they take on added gravity. I have deliberately put myself on notice before others that I'm making a covenant with the Beloved Yeshua. I wanted to make this more than a private promise. Private promises can more easily be finessed or fudged. I don't want that. If I fall short, I want to face that. I also recognize that the support of my companions on the journey is welcomed and received, and needed.

When couples marry before others, they do so to make a covenant with each other, and with the Divine, but also with the community. We make covenants and take vows of spiritual practice, not for ourselves only, but for the good of all beings. All of us together are waking up together to a life of communion with the Beloved, the Life that is our life. And for Christians we recognize and find refuge in that One Life in our communion with Yeshua.

In approaching the altar I began with a chant from the Benedictine tradition, the Suscipe me, translated today by my Benedictine friends as "Receive me, O Lord, that I may live." I am saying to the Lord, Your Life is my true life, bring me into Oneness with You." I began the chant at the base of the aisle in Gregorian mode, and stopped half way to the altar, chanted again, and again a third time at the steps ascending to the chauncel area before the altar. There I knelt and responded to my rector, Kurt Neilsen , assisted by Mary, the subdeacon. I looked into their eyes and felt their warmth and their blessing. That was enough. He asked me, "What do you seek?" I replied, "I wish to be consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ." That was enough, and all else was elaboration, but necessary elaboration. And I stated my vows and commitment to a daily rule of life. The structure and weave of the daily life of vow-keeping. I handed my vows to Kurt and he placed them on the altar and crossed me in blessing and I crossed myself, receiving his blessing, promising to face the darkness and bring it to healing in Yeshua.

I shook Kurt's hand and Mary's in giving the sign of Christ's peace. As I turned I felt the warmth and blessing of those present and went to each and receive their hand in exchange of peace. After the service, as it was " blue jeans Sunday" we all went outside and weeded and cleaned up the grounds in service and work practice given to the community. This I shall do every Thurs. to help me remember what I do in silence and in solitude I do not do alone, but ever in the communion of Christ in this sacred circle. Yet I know that every sacred circle in our lives is only one manifestation of the universal circle of the Heart of Christ that encompasses all beings, all Creation.

Thank you all for your blessing and your prayerful support as I begin my hermitage journey on Wed. June. 15

Bill Ryan - June 12, 2005