Dear Cathedral Family,
Making your way to Christ Church Cathedral this Sunday around the Mobile Marathon may appear at first simply to be an inconvenience. As it begins and ends in our front yard, Mardi Gras Park, we will have a front-row seat for the race.
We also have an invitation to persevere in seeing this event more clearly and deeply. Coordinated by and benefitting the First Light Community Foundation, the Mobile Marathon (formerly First Light) is the primary fundraiser for the First Light Community of Mobile (formerly L’Arche Mobile). When the event was moved from its usual site in Bienville Square to our location for this year, the First Light Community leadership reached out offering to do whatever they could to make our regular Sunday service accessible to us. Community co-directors Marty O’Malley and Bridget Mulroy visited the congregation on December 10 to share their organization’s mission and history and to answer any questions we might have. Since then, they have stayed in communication with us, making possible access to parking in the Church Street lot and inviting us to join them after worship for the post-race festivities in the park.
The deeper invitation for us is to see inside what appears to be only a race, to the heart of its purpose—supporting an organization in which people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together, providing life and love for them all. This community has been part of the life of Midtown Mobile for 50 years. Currently, 25 people with disabilities and 50 team members share life in homes throughout our neighborhoods. You can learn more about this community and its invitation to share life and love with us all by visiting their website.
The invitation to “come and see” is at the heart of our gospel for this Sunday, as Jesus calls his first disciples to join him in the beginnings of his ministry in Galilee. Philip invites Nathanael to “come and see” Jesus and what he is doing. Nathanael, like all of us, judges based on appearances, and Jesus of Nazareth doesn’t appear likely to be the one Moses and the prophets wrote about. But Nathanael perseveres, and he encounters Jesus, who sees and knows the hearts and minds of others. When Jesus reveals what he sees in Nathanael, the unbeliever is rewarded with a tremendous epiphany: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” And Jesus promises him that he will see so much more.
Jesus promises you and me that if we will persevere and “come and see” what he is doing in the world, then we will see greater things than the appearances we judge by at first.
I’ll see you Sunday if you persevere!