Blessing and Beauty

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Today’s CliffNotes is a guest post by Bryson Owens, Director of Operations, reflecting on the sacred beauty of the people and places of our weekly worship.

I stand in the ballroom at the Tex Fed, looking at an area near the west wall, under the watch of clear morning sunlight along with the glow of the blinding projector light.  To the wedding guests who threw their cares to the wind and spilled their fermented drinks on this very spot mere hours before, nothing would seem unusual.  But to me, to Christ Church, something is missing.  Here lies a void, pregnant yet barren.  A place has been prepared yet nothing is there.  This moment is my weekly Advent.  My anticipation of the gift of the altar, if only for a few seconds, is laid bare.  Then everything changes:  Two or three dear folks from the Altar Guild enter the ballroom and begin their deliberate, co-creative and prayerful service.

Plastic, noisily set;
Slowly unfurled, bowing to God’s ingenuity in gravity, elevating the plastic table’s station;
Eucharistic elements,
Poured and placed into vessels with pleasing aromas;
Borne to its position, awaiting the crucifer’s childish grip;
Singed, placed and protected from the HVAC’s arctic blast;
Marked, checked and rechecked in reverence and excellence, not in fear of reprisal;
Brightly colored, awaiting laborious first fruits given in joy or discipline; in faith.

Those dear folks are laboring, bodies converting breakfast and coffee into energy, into faithfulness to bless the rest of the community.  There is nothing especially unique about that 96 inch x 30 inch rectangular space in the ballroom at 2312 San Gabriel; except that God has brought our community to this spot, in this time, around his table, to worship him as a family with common mind, heart and mission.

God, in his faithfulness, is now relocating our family table, and we are following.  I sense a great expectation at 112 Medina for what God is cooking, a season of advent just like that moment each Sunday morning.  As we begin the reconstruction of the property, in the same way as the Altar Guild, we labor with God’s creation, visible and invisible, material and intangible, with human limits and the mystery of God’s power, faithfully preparing a suitable space.  A place suitable for thanksgiving, for celebration, for grief, for healing, for prayer, for desolation and for resurrection.  A place of Welcome and Blessing, of Beauty and Utility; a sacramental home.

Walk with us over the next year in preparing our hearts and the building, praying for God’s movement.