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September 15, 2015, 4:00 PM

From the Rector

Just like God created the rainbow, just so he created humankind, lots of colors. Whether you are an Episcopalian, a Baptist or a Pentecostal, the tragic news coming from South Charleston last Thursday should have left you numb or at least with a lump in your throat. How could someone sit in a Bible Study class and then murder the participants because they were black? How can we as a people think that we are making strides to stamp out racism when hate crimes are escalating? How can we as a church refuse to join in constant prayer for just twenty-one days when our nation wreaks in strife? How can we believe that prayer is old fashion, when all that we are and all that we have can only find comfort in Jesus? Can we truly handle hatred in our own strength? Can we do life on our own? 

The killing of 9 people who were just seeking a deeper understanding of the Bible is nothing but pure hatred. Hatred by itself is evil, but hatred is never a stand alone ideology, hatred is designed to drive a people to hate with passion. Whether one is the perpetrator or the recipient of hatred, the outcome is destined to generate a hateful environment. Hatred is like cancer, it may go in remission for a while but it never goes away. That is why we have to be constantly in prayer to God for his sustaining protection and his Providential goodness that the powers of evil may be held at bay while his people live in quiet peace. 

We are a rainbow in the eyes of God. We are different in color. We may huddle in our particular groups, we are free to choose our friends, but if we were to believe we are other than part of the human race we have an uphill battle: and if people continue to think that there are humans and sub-humans, then hatred will always find a place in the heart. There is only one solution for hatred, that is love. I am not speaking about human love that is hot today and cold tomorrow: or the love that tarries as long as you don't tell me what to do? The love I speak of must find its foundation in truth. There must be first love for God who created you; love for His Son who bore your sins and has given you the free gift of salvation, and you must love the Holy Spirit, that still small voice within you who guides you to all truth. It is that love that will help stamp out the hatred that drive people to commit evil acts. It is that love that Jesus demonstrated every day he walked this earth. It is that love that he asks of each of us to share with God, our neighbor and with ourselves. My constant hope for St. Mark's is that we steep ourselves in prayer, because when our prayers go up to God, His blessings come down to us. May we continue to pray. 

I remain

Yours, for the building up of God's kingdom 

Fr. Chris


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