Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the great shuffle


I looked back at recent posts and realized a lot of my writing lately has been about rhythm. Each morning since Jasper arrived, our chaos is held together by a singular goal - we've got to get out of here on time. Each evening we burst back through the door, my arms filled with baby, groceries, purse and mail. Usually I'm holding something in my teeth or Jasper holds the keys. Today I realized that I've always lived in this rhythm at work, which is why it seems so familiar at home.

Being the pastor in a small urban congregation means I ride two currents each day. I urge my people out the door - go serve, go share, go invite! This place is for a quick rest before heading back into the world. Grab some gospel and get out there!

All the while, I'm inviting strangers inside - come see, come taste, come receive! I know our doors are heavy and our liturgy is high, but there is something here for you. And you have something to share here, too.

Today I attended the Ending Homelessness Together Annual Luncheon downtown. One of our members is a community builder and invited me to sit at her table. We heard stories about Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation, projects we've supported and projects just getting started. Half the folks around our table were from St. John's, celebrating their call to go outside our walls and make a difference. It was an hour of my brain and heart celebrating with YES YES YES!

Late this afternoon the phone rang. It was a woman wondering about our worship services and Sunday school. She's looking for a church and lives in the neighborhood. Then, she admitted, she was standing right outside at the bus stop reading our sign. Come inside! It hadn't dawned on her, but her son did need to use the restroom and she was right here. We wandered around the building talking about church and her life and my life and every once in awhile her son would chime in with a comment about this funny building. Soon they left feeling welcome and eager to come back inside on a Sunday morning. It was fifteen minutes of my brain and heart celebrating the other current with YES YES YES!

That's what I do all day, most days. I do my best to inspire movement. I cheerlead. I point to God's commission. I connect people and try to relate with them. I remind myself and others that God is already working in rooms before we enter. I pray for the great shuffle out and in, out and in. And every once in awhile, when it clicks for a moment and I get to watch, I celebrate with YES YES YES!

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