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Mission: Joy

Dear Cathedral Family,

The Old Testament reading for Sunday takes us back to a period of “destruction and violence … strife and contention.” It sounds familiar. During that time, God assures the prophet Habakkuk that the “vision of the appointed time” of justice and help for those who suffer STILL EXISTS. “Wait for it,” God says.

None of us likes to wait. We equate waiting with complacency or inaction, but this is not the life to which we are called. Rather, we are called to vigilance and faithful action. We are even called to JOY.

In this Sunday’s gospel, we meet Zacchaeus, as he meets Jesus, a joyful encounter all around (except for the grumbling naysayers in the crowd). The whole scene is a demonstration of acceptance and joy.

This attitude of joy amid hardship and struggle is beautifully exhibited in the documentary Mission: Joy, about the friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church has watched this film together, and Bishop Russell shared it with diocesan clergy at our recent conference. Now I am sharing it with you. Here is a link to the trailer, and you may find it to rent or buy on Amazon Prime. You might also enjoy this short documentary about the harrowing experience from which The Reverend Frank Allen and his family were rescued in Alaska in 2013. It has informed his understanding of the “ambiguous gifts” that were the subject of last Sunday’s sermon.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday,



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