Friday, December 07, 2012
More and more
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more.
When I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church as a young adult, I remember so well the hands of Bishop Robert S. Kerr of Vermont who pushed down on my head as he said the prayer of Confirmation. The words I remember well were the words, "more and more," which are a prayer from a bishop asking that the Holy Spirit come alive "more and more" in the new confirmand. I am taken back to that occasion every time I participate in a Confirmation service, and I remember well the deep voice of Bishop Kerr and his hands on my head. I truly know that through his ministry the Holy Spirit was flowing through me at that time, and since.
He was the first bishop I ever saw and heard, and he was somewhat aloof and "old school" in the best of senses. I had utmost respect for him, and was so glad that the chapel at the Bishop Booth Conference Center at the Diocese of Vermont's Rock Point is named the Kerr Chapel.
Today, I give thanks for the ways that God's Incarnation in Jesus has become known to me in a variety of good people, including ordained folks and not, and including Bishop Kerr. The love of God has been made manifest in our lives in a plethora of ways, and St. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to continue to practice love for all the "brothers and sisters," which is good advice, indeed. "Love covers a multitude of sins," and we would do well to allow our own ministry and life to be infused with love and compassion, "more and more."
Loving God, you have shown your ultimate care and love for us in the Incarnation of your Son, Jesus Christ, bless us to share this love with others, more and more, so that your Kingdom would truly be born here on earth. Amen.