Calvary Episcopal Church
Memphis, Tenneessee

February 21, 1999, First Sunday in Lent
Volume 44, No.8

A Rector's Reflection for Lent. A Parable for Lent.
I'm writing this Chronicle article while attending a Board Meeting of the College of Preachers, an international Continuing Education Center for the
Preaching Ministry. This College is on the close (the grounds) of our Church's magnificent National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The Board has elected to take an hour break in the midst of some demanding, important decisions.

The winter sun is bright and glorious on this warm Spring-like day in Washington. Through my open window come the sounds of young students from nearby National Cathedral School. They pass under my window, hockey sticks flying, as they make their way to athletic fields. I also hear the sounds of sirens and busy traffic from nearby Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C. These earthy sounds suddenly give way to the stunningly beautiful carillon bells from the tower of the Cathedral. The young students race on, oblivious to this heavenly invasion. They have grown familiar with the Carillon bells ringing at numerous times during their day. The sirens still scream on Wisconsin Avenue. Life goes on. A parable happens.

The bells of the tall Cathedral tower, the highest point in our nation's capital, might be a symbol of the sacred calling out to humanity — and humanity reaching up for the face and grace of God. The laughing youngsters, arms interlocked — and an ambulance siren — they might be a symbol of humanity reaching out for one another.

Therein are the hope and glory for your life and mine. One's busy life is lived under the shadows of a sacred Tower, within an earshot of the carillon of bells of the Holy One. One's life is mingled with the laughter and tears of humanity, touched by the sirens of both help and uncertainty. Two worlds are always interfacing. The spiritual and the "secular" seem to walk hand in hand.

Lent, 1999 is here. My prayer and my hope for you (and for me) this Lent is that your life will be opened a bit to the carillon of some sacred bells. That your heart might be seized anew by the power and movement of the Spirit. That the journey of your daily life and Lent will be led by fervent Light and the imagined labor of Holy Love.

Now, back to my Board meeting. You, on with your life! Blessed Lent!

~Doug Bailey

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