I strolled in our churchyard quite often this week. I am continuously amazed at the beautiful work that has been done by the Mississippi Stone Guild, coordinated by Bill Buhner, to clean and restore the headstones and monuments, especially in the more historic sections. This treasure we are honored to steward is looking better than it has in years – and just in time for the Gardens of Madison County this weekend.
By virtue of our baptism, we all are ministers and are called to be in relationship. The baptismal covenant is the heart of what it means to follow Christ and all the questions the baptismal covenant asks deal with relationships. So to follow Christ means to be in relationship with others and with God.
The other day, while surfing social media, I stumbled across an old clip of Robin Williams. I’ve always enjoyed his work, both as a stand-up comedian and a dramatic actor, and an admirer of his quick wit. And when celebrities die, reflections on their death can be mixed. Some are lionized to such a extreme degree, they sound like saints when they were actually very human. On the other hand, some intrepid reporters dig so deeply into their demons, their revelations can be tantamount to dancing on the grave.
In the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel comes to present a most glorious, miraculous and impossible plan to Mary – arguably the most important proposal made to a human being. Mary’s response was to be the most crucial ever uttered – the history of the salvation of all creation hinged on her consent.