Saturday after Ash Wednesday

by Matthew B. Harper

Ezekiel 39:21 – I will display my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them.

In college I was very involved in the Episcopal campus ministry. I was a musician and a leader in our community. For a short while I dated a young woman who was a leader of another ministry. We enjoyed meeting for meals at the dining hall, and before she would eat she would pray. Right there in the noisy, crowded, dining hall, she would bow her hands and give thanks. It made me uncomfortable! I considered myself a man of deep faith, but deep was where my faith was; I wasn’t comfortable with such a public show of faith. I was more worried about how others might look at me than I was worried about being faithful.

But we are a testament to God. Our lives are a Gospel story about our faith and our relationship with God. We have a saying in here that there are five gospels, and most people will only read one of them – you. Our lives should be a constant testimony to what God is doing in us.

In here the chow halls are much more crowded than the dining halls of JMU, the scrutiny worse, and the food abysmal. But many of my Christian brothers do not pause or worry to close their eyes and bow their heads and give thanks. And after these many years I have learned to be more faithful to God. So no matter how bad the food, or how many eyes are upon me, I stop to give thanks to God. As the Lord said in Ezekiel today, Israel shall show forth God’s glory before the other nations, and so we shall show forth God’s glory before others.

“From all evil and wickedness; from sin; from the crafts and assaults of the devil; and from everlasting damnation, Good Lord, deliver us.” BCP148

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