It was a great pleasure for the people of St Luke's to welcome Bishop Riscylla as Celebrant at the Holy Eucharist on the Third Sunday of Advent. It was a bright sunny morning after an evening of heavy, wet snow in the local area. The slick, shiny ice was manageable and no deterrent for 85 parishioners who gathered the next morning with our Bishop to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and to listen to her homily on the readings of the day.
Bishop Riscylla and Father Glenn shared time with 'the parish kids' to describe our bishop's vestments, mitre and pastoral staff. Bishop Riscylla explained that her chasuble -- the vestment she was wearing over her alb -- was a recent gift from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough. She remarked on what a positive symbol this was for ecumenism and our relationship with our sisters and brothers in Christ.
In her homily, Bishop Riscylla spoke about the expectation of the Advent Season. She asked that we ponder what we each are expecting in this season as we await the celebration of the Nativity and Christ's rebirth in our midst. Bishop Riscylla remarked on the words of Mary in The Magnificat for which she cited the traditional version and also the version of Eugene Patterson's translation in the The Message (Luke 1: 46-55) version of the scriptures.
And Mary said, I'm bursting with God-news;
I'm dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened
- I'm the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
-- from The Message
In looking at expectations from a different perspective, Bishop Riscylla spoke about what we should be expecting of ourselves and what our God expects of us. For this she cited the words of the Prophet Micah: "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
In her blessing for the people of St Luke's Bishop Riscylla included words of encouragement and affirmation for the parish on the new vision that St Luke's is undertaking.
Following the morning liturgy, everyone gathered in the parish hall for a parish Advent tradition of a hot dog lunch and, of course, a special cake. Thank you to Ian and the choir for their anthem, Advent Meditation, that followed the Bishop's homily. And thank you to each person who participated in our liturgy for the Third Sunday in Advent.
Blessings to all.