Cross Words – Special Edition by Fr. Rick Cross

Fr. Rick Cross







“The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

a great light has dawned.”

                                                          (Isaiah 9:2)


                                                                        Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This scripture from my Henri Nouwen morning meditation is helping me focus on the anticipated “Light of Christ” from the Easter Vigil’s Paschal Candle. The Vigil begins in total darkness, seemingly very appropriate this season of isolation, quarantine, and closure from the lights of much of familiar life.

All of us need to hear that encouragement, coming through shades of darkness and quandary. It is the very image of faith: what is not yet seen, but hoped for. Isaiah was speaking to a suffering community whose lives were more radically threatened than we experience in our troubles today. His prophesy pointed to the coming of the Messiah, the hope of liberating Light for those enslaved and abused by the temporal powers of his day.

This morning I awakened early to the first rays of light beaming onto Mt. Desert Island and Eastern Bay where I am sequestered. Only the white and gray seagulls flutter about the shore, bordered by a silent low tide, streaked with lovely pinks and blues. It is the dawning of a new day, and I sense the dawning of a new way of living as the Body of Christ in our time.

During the past few years, I have sensed that the institutional church is lagging way behind contemporary culture and technology. The current crisis is forcing us to learn to communicate and relate in new and foreign ways. I am old and stretching to keep up with new possibilities and components. Thank God for Jamie and Mike and Lev and others who have gifts and skills we need to cope. Who would have thought a month ago, our church life would be turned upside down? I love whoever said that God is in the surprises of our lives! May we “Let go, and let God’s Light” dawn in our hearts and lives as a community of faith.

Holy Week and Easter, the epicenter of our Christian lives, will be changed. I choose to get excited about the challenge of creatively responding to the change. You have heard the phrase “moveable feast.” Well, our traditional Easter celebration will be moved to a safe and future date when we can return to our “moveable pews,” and familiar sacred space. But in the interim, the Worship Planning Group will be designing a new format for this year’s Holy Week and Easter celebrations. Please give us input about any ideas you have. (Rick, Peggy, Mary Ann, Lisa, Pat, Jamie)

I am so grateful for everyone in our congregation who has stepped forward to keep our bonds united and our spirits lifted. I have never doubted for a moment St. Pat’s resilience. We shall overcome!

Your Priest-in-Charge-in-Quarantine,