Today on this 12th Sunday after Pentecost the community of St. Thomas's gathered for Word and Sacrament. My sermon today was a children's homily about the Eucharist. We had a snack of bread and grape juice and talked about how the special meeal we have on Sundays is a meal like any other meal, and a meal like no other meal. At the Eucharistic prayer I invited them to come stand with me at the Altar for the Great Thanksgiving. i think they got something out of it - I know I did!
The picture above is not photo-shopped - it was taken by a thru-hiker visiting us after an early evening rain squall in the Vernon valley, and shows St. Thomas' Chapel with a rainbow over it. The rainbow lasted perhaps a half hour, and we got a lot of good pix of it. There were actually two rainbows - the second was parralel to the first but dim enough that the camera couldn't pick it up. The amazing thing is that it happened again this evening! Another early evening squall that cleared up and then the rainbow - again! This time, I was having the members of the worship guilds over for a summer barbeque to thank them for their service, and so maybe fifteen people saw it rather than just me and the hiker. And now everyone can see it!
I'm reminded that in Scripture things that are considered more important are often repeated. To take a recent example, the parables of the Weeds and Wheat and the Net in Matthew 13 repeat some of the same words about the righteous and the unrighteous, as do the parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven. I wonder if the Sign of the Rainbow - repeated and the second time with many witnesses - can be taken as a promise and a sign for this worshipping community. I will need to ponder this more - hope is good, but it can be very easy to read into any unique happening any meaning that one wants it to have. In the meantime, I'm simply going to enjoy the great gift God gave us in this rainbow.
I'm delighted that the Collect appointed for this day is so apt for the day that the Lambeth Conferecne closes - may all the conferees take this prayer to heart!
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.