March 2019   
Rector's Msg.


For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15

A few weeks ago I skied in some of the best snow of my life. The snow was deep, dry, light, and uniformly powdery. Also, tipping the scales in favor of this day was the fact that the sky was crystal clear. It was a great day to be in the mountains and it was a great day to be alive. This was a day that should have brought out the joy and camaraderie that sharing an amazing event can create. Instead, while waiting at the bottom of a lift that would take us all to the top of a mountain, which had been closed for the duration of the storm and would present us all with acres of untouched snow, three men tried to push their way into the front of the line. This created almost instantaneous tension in the rest of the line, as others worried these men would get between them and the fresh snow. At one point the actions of one of these men in particular became so antagonistic that I wondered if there was going to be a fight.

That day, and that circumstance in particular, reminded me how glad I am to be a believer in the Gospel. Truly, a beautiful day like this should bring people together through a mutual love of the amazing conditions and the beauty of God’s creation, but in reality, we were like vultures fighting over a meager carcass. This is the human condition, and recognizing it is nothing new. In the early 17th century, the artist Guernico created an oil painting titled Et in Arcadia ego, which translated means I too was in Arcadia. In the painting Arcadia represents a beautiful pastoral place, a place of life and joy and plenty, but in Guernico’s depiction we see two shepherds walking out of the forest to be confronted by a skull atop a platform with the inscription Et in Arcadia ego. According to the painter, death is present in the most beautiful of places.

As Christians we know this is true, as well. We know that in our own lives, even as we strive to live lives of peace and humility, we find that another desire is there at war with us. The Apostle Paul makes this clear when he tells us, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” There is death present even within us, Et in Arcadia ego. Fortunately this death is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ has died this death on our behalf so that you and I can be free from the eternal consequences of sin. While we still struggle with living faithfully in this world, we are no longer held by death, but have been freed to live. Let us therefore live joyful and graceful lives even in the face of death.

In Christ,