Where there is no vision the people perish:
but he that keepth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18 KJV
On the day you were baptized you became a Christian. The distinctive element of Christian Baptism is the gift of the Holy Spirit being imparted upon the person being baptized. It is worth saying here that there were all kinds of “baptisms” going on throughout the various religious cults and practices of the ancient Middle East before, during and after Jesus’ time. Again, the distinct nature of Christian Baptism is the gift of the Holy Spirit and the adoption by God through Grace of the one being baptized.
Every day since your baptism has been a journey, as has mine, to become more completely that
which we already are: a Christian. This does not mean that there is a drip-faucet of the Holy Spirit within you. The gift of the Spirit is full, but our ability to live into the richness of the Spirit’s gifts is, as far as I can tell, a journey without a conclusion. Some are relentless in this journey. Others, it would seem, drift off to the side of the way and never get up and on the path again. What is the difference?
Good question! I believe that the difference is found, in part, when one gets separated from the
community of faith and separated from a vision – a vision of what the Spirit is inviting, calling, even challenging us to be and become as individuals and as a community.
There are two things in the Pentecost story that strike me. First it was not a solo event. There was
a community gathered. Jumping ahead a bit, even the Saul was the only one blinded by the light, there were others present and the event was confirmed by Ananias at the direction of the Holy Spirit. Our baptisms are not solo events either, they are community events. Second, closely associated with Pentecost, Peter tells us, is the seeing of visions. (Read all of Acts 2 for the full excitement!)
Just over a hundred years ago there was a vision to create a Cathedral community and ministry. A
vision to create something new that had not been before in this part of Christ’s Church. The vision became a reality, but as with all visions imparted by God, it continues to change as we come close so that our journey into the breadth and depth of Jesus’ healing, reconciling, sanctifying love becomes more and more profound. More life giving and more life imparting.
Over the past year your Vestry has invested many hours in prayer, conversation, and discernment
about the vision God is giving to the Cathedral community – a vision of what we are called to be, but have not yet fully become. Today is the day we share that vision.
Our Vision is to be an extraordinary spiritual gathering place where people of all backgrounds and ages are welcome to question and learn, pray, worship and serve; being loved by God in ways that change and improve their lives and the lives of others.
I invite you take this vision into your hearts and into your prayers and into your actions. God has
blessed us richly over the past hundred years as a Cathedral, and for the eighty-or-so years before that in our beginnings in 1824. God is blessing us now. The more we press toward the vision, as faithful Christians and as a Christian Community, the more we will experience the richness of the Grace and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are already within us.
Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire, enlighten with celestial fire.