Thursday, January 15, 2015
My first way of serving in the church was in the St. Cecilia Choir. I was the only boy in the choir. You can imagine that I must have really loved singing and being part of the choir to wear the robe with tie you see below. The truth is that I loved making "a joyful noise unto the Lord."
However, when my voice changed to a much lower octave, my singing career in the church or with the Four Seasons came to an abrupt end. The priest in charge of Acolytes saw that I was lost without a way of being a disciple and he sought me out and asked me to serve as an acolyte.
I loved being told by the training priest that the word "acolyte" was the Greek word for a follower of Jesus in John's Gospel and was used in today's Gospel from John to describe Jesus' calling of Philip to follow him.
I looked forward to serving as an acolyte and I particularly liked the sense that what I was doing in some small way was a way to follow Jesus. We were taught to carry the cross, light and carry the candles in procession and recession, help set the Table for Holy Communion, assist people up the steps to the altar rail and down the steps back to their seats. We also helped the clergy clean up after communion was completed and then led the choir and clergy out of the church and into the world.
We will be celebrating the life of Kathleen Ramjohn this Sunday at the 10 AM service. Like me, she was claimed and found by Jesus and responded to Jesus' call to follow him in service to others. As you think about Kathleen's time with us, consider how she was an acolyte of Jesus. Look at the many ways she joyfully greeted us, fed us, danced to the music of the service, and celebrated her own sense of being found, like Philip, and called to follow her Lord, Savior, and friend.
The service this Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection. It will be Easter on Sunday. We will vest in White and hear the words of hope and joy that are a part of our Easter faith. Perhaps we will be found again by Jesus in this time of worship and hear his call to follow him anew.
Kathleen liked to say: "Love be with you!" Let's come together this Sunday to respond to her greeting, "And also with you, Kathleen."
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael asked him, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you." Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."