Calvary Episcopal Church
Memphis, Tennessee


May 7, 2000,
The Third Sunday of Easter
Volume 45, No.19

Power of the Liturgy
Too often we are not aware of the power at our disposal. A definition in an old dictionary underscores this fact – "Uranium is a small, white metallic substance, extremely rare, having few known usages." How terribly far they missed it! They were oblivious to the power latent in that substance that has dramatically changed our world.

Within the last few weeks I have thought much about spiritual power. These days at Calvary Church have opened up for me a renewed sense of the presence of God. The joy of going through Lent and Holy Week with you has been a rich experience for me. In special ways the Holy has become more real.

I have experienced the power of Liturgy. The good news of God's love in Christ has broken through in symbol, myth and ritual. How can I ever forget the incredible contrast in Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil? Following a veiled cross out of a darkened and stripped church made us realize the depth of despair in which we live without the presence of God. But that glorious moment at Easter Vigil when the lights came on and the music of celebration broke forth to reveal a church filled with the beauty of those gorgeous flowers – how can I ever forget it? Can you?

The power of the preached Word came with new freshness. All the sermons and homilies were filled with rich meaning. But on Good Friday when Barbara Brown Taylor spoke with such quietness but penetrating power, we heard God's message in a new way.

To me, perhaps the greatest sense of God's presence and power came in the ministry of love extended to those who stand on the margin of our society. Participating with Doug and Allen in the Chapel Service at the Drop In Center made me aware that we were close to the heart of the work of Christ. Assisting Jim Boyd in celebrating the Eucharist with the street people on Easter morning offered me a deeper feeling of connection with the disinherited among us. The word "Liturgy" literally means, "the work of the people." Our worship and our service are channels through which God can pour his power.

I am grateful to Calvary Church for giving me the opportunity to draw a little closer to the heart of God. But we all have just begun. We have seen only a glimpse of the spiritual power that can be ours. Like Uranium, it can bring a whole new world to us. Only this time it will be a world of love and peace and joy.
~Brooks Ramsey

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