Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week of January 4, 2015

I’ve been so encouraged this week after our first Sunday together in worship.  Hopefully, you’ve felt it, too.  God is at work here--always has been and always will be.  Joy is the joining in on that journey.  To do so costs you nothing except EVERYTHING.
 That’s a discussion for another time.  The question for us is always a present one: “The kingdom of God is at hand”; therefore, will you journey with God’s children as they journey with Christ at New Kirk Presbyterian?  I sure hope your heart says “Yes!”  My reasons are selfish, though.  See, I find great joy in the idea of God’s people gathering often, gathering purposefully (even when that purpose is to have no measurable purpose), and gathering gracefully.  
To “gather often” means just that.  Sundays are a given, but why not come together again during the week?  Some groups are doing that now.  I look forward to exploring with committees, the session, and others in the church on cool new ways to worship and grow in faith.
To “gather purposefully” means we come together just as we are, knowing full well that our intention is to be in the fellowship of Christ.  I like this one a lot because--and this is something God keeps showing me--we learn that there is no separation between the places and times at which God meets us or even in and with whom Christ reveals himself to us.  This week alone, while my family is up in Burke Co., NC, completing this final school semester, I’ve enjoyed the company of a few families about each night out on the town, as well as even had the opportunity to jam with a really cool band--with a church member, of course. I love a good laugh, great music, good food and drinks; but, more than all of these things, I love to feel the joy and pleasure of God amid it all.
Finally, to “gather gracefully” means the sheer liberation in sharing this joy and pleasure of God with others.  Last week was Epiphany Sunday.  This week is Baptism of the Lord Sunday.  If we note the vector of the church universal in worship from now till spring, we’ll eventually find ourselves at the foot of the cross and then bewildered at the entrance of an empty tomb.  We may even find, with Thomas, that we cannot decide whether to believe or to actually reach out and see if those holes in Christ’s hands are for real.  “Gathering gracefully” is the awareness of (the awakening to) the fact that, regardless, here stands true love--always in a posture of reception--wanting...waiting.  There’s no greater love.  We’ll discover that together!

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