Our lives are filled with photographs these days. One look at Facebook and you will notice that almost no post these days goes out without a picture attached. Video posts are increasing as well! Most of us remember when taking photographs was a big deal; there was film involved and processing and if you were like me most of the time at least one of the shots came out so blurry it really was not worth the paper it was printed on! Nowadays we post photos of the food we eat, the plants in our gardens, our beloved pets watching baseball and just about anything else you can think of. Most of the photos have little lasting value beyond the immediate moment.
And then there are the photos we are so blessed to have and to recall for years to come. The photo that accompanies this note is one such photo. It was taken at St. Michael and All Angels. Chris is the Rector of the church and the little boy is her son Jack. I love this photo for a number of reasons: first of all because it is a happy scene; second, because it is a good photo of me, which is rare; third, because Jack is chewing on my pectoral cross. But mostly I love it because it reminds me of another photo taken a long time ago with one of those old cameras with film and all. In that photo my eldest daughter Rachel is about the same age of Jack and she is sitting on the lap of Bishop Gerald McAllister, my bishop in Oklahoma, chewing on his pectoral cross.
Photographs place and ground us in time and space. They help us to remember times gone by and they allow us to note the changing of times and seasons, days and decades. They become the corporate memory of our life and they help us to remember, when things get difficult and challenging, that we are beloved children deeply loved by God. In this difficult and challenging time of political and social instability it might just be a good time to reach into the bookcase, take out one of those old photo albums and spend some time remembering who we have been and who we have become. God loves you and plans on continuing to love you into eternity.