Last weekend our church hosted the visit of a special Icon of St.Anna the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.
Saturday Evening Vespers and Sunday morning Divine liturgy saw a swelling of faithful people all wanting a glimpse at this very special lady and healer.
Some feel such things as healing can not happen through oils flowing from an image,but whose to say how God chooses to touch us .
I must admit that all in all the weekend was quite special,not just for the Icon but for the people who took the time to come and visit our little church community in Southbridge,Mass.
St. Michael Parish does not often draw such a gathering of people to pray with us.
For me the best part of the day came after the Liturgy and coffee hour when I walked outside of the hall and could hear the rooster repeatedly crowing and a father with his children sledding down the hill by the side of the church.
Suddenly it dawned on me this is what "Church" should be,many people enjoying the company of each other and the world around.
A Church should be alive,it should breath with those around it,just as a home should draw in friends,neighbors and family,so should we.
People interacting with each other and comfortable enough to be thankful for all we have to give and receive.
A church community should be a verb not a noun and as such requires movement and interaction from everyone.
We,as a church,are always at our best when hosting the company of others.
Food,warmth and communion always play one of the biggest parts to religion and faith.
God has told us many times,in both the Old and New Testaments that no man should be alone and isolated.
In the Bible when ever God wanted to punish someone he sent them off to be alone and see how bad it was to live in isolation.
Adam and Eve,were sent away from the Garden of Edan,Cain,after murdering his brother,had a mark placed on him and was sent off,the tower of babel had an entire community sent to the far reaches of the known world.
A wise friend once told me loneliness is everything it's cracked up to be.
Sunday this point was driven home to me as I opened the door of St.Michael hall and viewed and heard the laughter of children sliding down the hill on their sleds and people talking and admiring the rooster and chickens.
Laughter and joy filled the air and isn't that what a family is suppose to be about.
Funny St. Anne is the grandmother of Jesus and on this day as I exited the hall,it truly felt like being at my own grandmother's house,with all the children and grandchildren interacting and having fun,like relatives that had not been in each others company for a very long time.
Maybe this was our miracle at St. Michael,to once again be at grandma's house.
Now isn't that special... Thanks St. Anna