I see out my window this morning just a few lingering spots of snow. However, I did notice as I drove home yesterday evening that higher on the mountains there seems to be plenty left, so I’m guessing some of you who live up the slopes still have some significantcoverage.
I hope you’ve been able to get out…that is, if you’ve wanted to get out. I’ve just read a few thoughts sent to the SALT class from Rev. Jim Cooper, who’s a member of SALT. He referred to author Linda Douty’s discussion (“Rhythms of Growth”) of the interruptions from our plans and regular lives that we experience in life. Douty says we can think of them and experience them either as “roadblocks” or “oases.” Jim said he hoped that, during the snow and its aftermath, we had experienced an “oasis” or two! I join with Jim in his wish for each of you! I hope you found some oasis, some bit of beauty, silence, joy, family connection….
I’m sure many of us had our plans derailed, from ball games to doctor’s appointments, to Sunday morning when we canceled all our services. As I wrote last week, I hate making that call, but the information I received from people in the downtown area was that the streets on Saturday afternoon were very bad, and I knew my neighborhood streets and most of yours were too. It was a decision to prevent possible injury to persons trying to get to church. So far many people have told me it was the right call, and anyone who thought otherwise has been nice enough to not say so! I waited until nearly 4:00 p.m. Saturday to make the best informed call, and it was then put on WLOS, our church answering machine, the church website, and an email was sent to those who are on our email list. Even so, I heard of at least one visitor from Florida who showed up!
So what does a preacher do on Sunday morning when not preaching? I watched our service from the previous week on Charter 188 at 10:00 a.m. Then I listened to Adam Hamilton from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, who preached on Islam and ISIS. It was a 45 minute lecture-sermon with much information and food for thought. You can find it at www.cor.org/bridges. I’ll say this much—we cannot understand ISIS without understanding some basic information about Islam and how ISIS is distorting Islam, and that ISIS will never be defeated by force alone.
If you read this week’s First Words you know by now that Eliza Sease, our Director of Lay Ministries and Missions, is moving to Portland, OR. It is with sadness that we see her go, and deep gratitude for all that she has meant to us, but also with prayers and best wishes for all her future endeavors. Thanks, Eliza, and Godspeed!
So this week I will revise the sermon I had ready for last week. We’ll ponder the story from Nehemiah 8:1-10, where the priest Ezra reads the Word to the people, and the story from Luke 4:14-30, where Jesus does the same thing—reads the Word to the people. That’s what we do as Christians. I have so many thoughts running through my head on this that I can’t say everything I want to say, but we will claim that fact, at least, that we are people of the Word!
The weather forecast is for near 60 degrees and sun for Sunday, so I’ll be bold and go ahead and make the call—we will have all services this Sunday, and I hope to see you at one of them!