Beginnings are a precious time. Shimmering first impressions, brief as they are, convey a kind of truth that can fall away with familiarity and routine. Here are some truths that shine through about Trinity:
You love God.
You love each other.
You are thirsty for justice.
You are committed to long-term relationships in our neighborhood.
While I have been experiencing all the “firsts” of life at Trinity (Sunday worship, Wednesday night suppers, tea & coffee after prayers, staff and council meetings), I am pinching myself. My job here, at its core, is to love this community: to listen to you and walk with you, even as we listen to and walk with our neighbors. What an incredible privilege, and one that I hope never to take lightly.
I'll bet you have some first impressions of me too (shiny or not!). For those who were not able to attend Adult Forum last week, here is a bit more about me--
This Sermon began with Jane reading the entire book of Jonah to the congregation. She continued...
This story ends with Jonah sitting outside the city of Nineveh, waiting to see what will happen. What we are not told is that Nineveh was a truly evil city. In fact, it was the capital of the territory that would completely wipe out the kingdom of Israel just a few decades after Jonah’s mission there. There is no wonder that Jonah did not want to go.
And yet this story of Jonah forces us to wrestle with the goodness and grace of God. This story of Jonah helps us see that God often works with us in spite of ourselves. God even cares about us when we are as stubborn as Jonah was. It certainly was nice of God to provide a shade bush so that Jonah could be comfortable while he watched Nineveh repent and be transformed. But he was so stuck in his own pettiness that he couldn’t even enjoy it.
Re-entry after any vacation is always interesting. This time it seemed especially difficult. While we were gone I had the luxury of not watching the news, reading emails or looking at Facebook. Occasionally we’d hear a little bit, but not being constantly reminded of “the news” it was easy enough to dismiss the little we heard. That also meant there was a lot to catch up on, and it was overwhelming.
These are difficult days on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. So, I won’t. We’ve all heard most of what is happening. It won’t help to rehash it or even bemoan it. As a white Christian pastor I feel a responsibility to say something, to do something, but I haven’t figured out what that is yet. I just re-entered the world of Facebook today and I saw lots of wise words and comments. So, I’m at a loss as to what I may have to contribute to all of that. I trust I’ll know when the time is right.
I have no doubt, however, that who we are and what we do at Trinity and in Cedar-Riverside is important, especially now……still…..again.