We are incredibly excited to welcome The Rev. Grey Maggiano to Memorial as our new Rector. Father Grey, Monica, and Isabella are now here in Baltimore, and thoroughly engaged at memorial. You may email Father Maggiano at email@example.com.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 1:7 (Paraphrased)
Were I to have one wish for everyone reading this letter it would be this: a little bit of grace and peace throughout this holiday season. This is the abiding message in Paul’s ministry – Grace and Peace – and one that we as Christians could do well to remember during the holidays and throughout the year. That we are above all instruments of grace and peace.
There are a lot of angry Christians in the world. Whether we are angry about trivial things (like whether we say ‘Merry Christmas!’ Or ‘Happy Holidays’) or important things (like poverty, war and racism) we often forget about the need to offer ourselves as examples of grace and peace to those we encounter; a living embodiment of Christ’s abiding love for the world.
This week I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Brendan and Willa of Viva House (Link to a recent WYPR interview http://wypr.org/post/viva-house-and-mandate-mercy-baltimore) two living saints who have been toiling silently, offering grace and peace to generations of the poor in Southwest Baltimore. In a culture of self-promotion, they are a breath of fresh air. They don’t even have a website! They have simply woken up every day for the last 48 years and sought to create an atmosphere of peace and offer a little bit of grace to a community and a population that sorely needs it.
You see, this is a mistake we sometimes make. We are drawn to statements like “No justice, no peace” because of our deep conviction that the world needs to be more just and more equal. And this is true. But we mustn’t also forget our God-given gift to create peace for others, and in the process, bring a little peace to our hearts as well. This is not a worldly call – but a Gospel call. One that is incongruent with much of the world around us, but desperately needed everywhere we turn.
As I sat there with Willa and Brendan, and listened to stories of generations of addicts and single mothers and lost children that have crossed their threshold. As we talked about the continuing problems in our city of a lack of employment, the break down of the education system and the continued threat of the drug trade — they were not perturbed or troubled. Not because these problems weren’t real or didn’t worry them, but because a lifetime of offering grace and peace to more than a million people; they are at peace knowing that we are all offered His grace. May we all seek to do the same.
Grace and peace. To all of you this Holiday season.
– Father Grey