St. Margaret's Episcopal Church - Emmaus, PA - Holy Eucharist

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 11, 2020

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Emmaus, PA

Reflections on The Season of Pentecost

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 11, 2020

By Rev. Jane Bender

Dear St. Margaret’s Family,

I hope and pray that this week’s letter finds you in good health and yes, even in good spirits!  

It is a difficult time to keep spirits up with all the difficulties we are facing during this time of deeply concerning issues: the ongoing pandemic, illness, job insecurity, racial tensions, deep political divisions, civil unrest and strife.  How is it even possible to be in good spirits despite all this!  Sometimes it is next to impossible.  We are, for sure grounded in the reality of the present difficult realities in our world.

HOWEVER!  As St. Matthew instructs us, we are also grounded in the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven.  That the Kingdom of Heaven on earth was inaugurated at the death, resurrection and ascension of Our Lord.   It marked the beginning of a different WAY.  The way of Christ.  And ALL ARE INVITED TO GOD’s BANQUET.

That we as Christians are fully IN this world – but not OF it. 

This reality of the Kingdom of Heaven is not some other-worldly, ethereal prospect.  It is not an unrealistic, escapist pie-in-the-sky naivety. 

That is the point!  We are at the same time living in a broken and hurting world while also living in the hope of the resurrection – in the hope of peace and reconciliation. That the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven is already with us NOW (though in part) is the saving Grace of our faith. 

Indeed, we have a foretaste of this heavenly kingdom already as we sit at the Banquet Table of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  We also have a foretaste of the Kingdom when we are living out our lives, rooted in Christ, as disciples (though flawed) working out our salvation in fear and trembling by doing acts of mercy, forgiveness, justice and reconciliation. 

As the late Bishop Barbara Harris, who knew first-hand much deep suffering, would say: “ALLELUIA  ANYHOW!”

My friends, my prayer for you and for myself, is that we remain focused on Our Lord. That we may be strengthened with stamina to “fight the good fight” – to keep the faith during these difficult times. That each of us may respond to the call of Christ to the banquet table to be richly fed by God.  The God of abundance.                    Alleluia anyhow!

God bless you and keep you in God’s loving embrace,


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