A Meditation for You
We have nearly concluded our Lenten season of self examination and fasting—made more conspicuous, this year, by the sacrifices made enduring the distance imposed by pandemic. We have sought hope in the Psalms of Ascent, the songs, from Psalms 120-134, that comforted our faithful forbears as they returned from exile to their beloved home of Jerusalem, up to Mount Zion. 

We know that the Hebrew Pilgrims reached Mt. Zion. Their long trek away from captivity was over. They were home! Psalm 133, The Blessedness of Unity, describes the pilgrim’s song of idyllic unity and harmony. 

Psalm 133
1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

Once they got home, we know from the Old Testament that this people’s troubles didn’t magically disappear forever, despite their strife and steadfastness all that time. After all, they did not sing the Lord’s blessing of freedom from trouble forevermore, but a blessing of life forevermore

How do our journeys succeed in demonstrating God’s eternal life of love

In Mysteries of Faith, author Mark McIntosh, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Chicago, writes that [the French philosopher] “Simone Weil believed that what we see happening in Christ on the cross is the stretching out of God to us in our affliction and separation from hope. There, in Jesus’ cry of dereliction, we see the Word of God finding us, sharing our plight, crying out to the Father. Our lostness and distance from each other and from God has been embraced within the ‘distance’ of God’s eternal life of love, embraced within the love of the Father for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father, that one love—the bond of supreme union as Weil puts it—whom we know as God the Holy Spirit. The master of the Trinity is the deepest response Christianity can make to the problems of suffering and evil in our world.”

Through Christ, our lostness and distance from each other and from God has been embraced—unified—within the ‘distance’ of God’s eternal life of love. May we, too, live eternal lives of love forevermore, no matter the circumstances.

Narrative and photograph of the cross at Shrine Mont © 2021 Stephanie Shareck Werner
Mysteries of Faith, by Mark McIntosh. © 2000 Cowley Publications; pp. 38-39.
Mark Lenten Conversations
We are thrilled to announce a thoughtful and creative way to read through the gospel of Mark in the Lenten season together. Each week we will be posting a different conversation between Rock+, Harrison and a member of our Parish. They read three chapters and discuss it as Spirit leads them. We are reading through the CEB (Common English Bible) Study Bible. Please come pick up your own copy on the table in the Memorial Garden. They are free for the taking.

We hope you will join us for Session 3 as we move into Mark chapters 13-16 with Rev. Becky McDaniel, Father Rock and Harrison. The link to watch is HERE on YouTube. (In case you missed the weeks with Neale Smith, Bob Hughes, Gay Gibson or the Leggotts - they there too!)

If you would prefer to listen as a podcast, click HERE.
Join us Sunday
Sunday Morning

Please join us online Sunday for a Spiritual Eucharist at 9am or weather permitting at 10am for the in-person outdoor Eucharist Rite II . Let us be together in Spirit! The link to watch and get the bulletin are in the schedule below.
Staying Connected
Friday, March 26, 2021
  • 12pm- Noonday Prayer (online) 
  • 5pm- Facebook Live for kids
  • Link to join in

Sunday, March 28, 2021
  • 9am- Children's Sunday School (online) 
  • Link to join
  • 9am- Spiritual Eucharist Worship (online)
  • Link to watch service
  • Link for bulletin
  • 10am- Eucharist:Rite II Worship (in person outdoors, weather permitting)
  • Link to watch service
  • Link for bulletin

Monday, March 29, 2021
  • 10:30am- Grief Group (online)
  • Link to join
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online)

Join us daily for Noonday Prayer online here. You can follow along with the service on page 103 of the Book of Common Prayer or visit (Click on "Daily Office" and then "An Order of Service at Noonday")

If you can't join us live-time, no worries. All of these services can be viewed at your convenience afterward on Facebook. All our Sunday morning and Contemplative services will be posted on our YouTube Channel, "St. James the Less Ashland VA." You can access that here.
Helpful Links
St. James the Less
125 Beverly Rd. | Ashland VA 23005 | (804) 798.6336