Illumined By Word and Sacrament

Listening to Lou Holtz and Mark May argue with each other is one of my least favorite parts of College Football Season.  That being said, I highly respect Coach Holtz, not just for what he did on the field, but for his deep convictions off of it.  During last year’s Bowl Season (2012-13), Coach Holtz starred in a commercial for CatholicsComeHome.org, inviting lapsed Roman Catholics back into the Church.

It gets off to a bit of a sloppy start with the whole, “the goal is heaven” thing, but every time I see this “evangomercial” (their word, not mine), I can’t help but be struck by how succinctly the Roman Catholic point of view is summarized in this 30 second spot.

The commercial came to mind as I read the Collect for Epiphany 2, which plays on the Epiphany theme of light, while perfectly summarizing what is means to be an Episcopalian: “Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth…”  This prayer, with all of its imagery of light, took me down a dark path as I pondered how few Churches really do “illumine” their people in Word and Sacrament, but rather than get all snarky, I’ve decided to use this week’s Collect as a reminder of my call.

As a member of the clergy in The Episcopal Church, it is my job to faithfully proclaim the Word and duly administer the Sacraments so as not to impede God’s good work of illumining his children in order that the Good News of Christ’s glory might shine to the ends of the earth.  Or, more simply said, my task is to get out of the way of God’s Spirit hard a work in the faithful.  If Lou Holtz can do it, I think I can too.

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