Today I am thankful for our little church. We are all of us just beginning to learn the contours of faith together, we are learning the contours of the cross and of the rocky soil where we run, like Peter and Mary and John ran, to tell about the empty tomb. This is a beautiful collection of saints in common clothes. They are singles and marrieds, they are children of every shade. Week by week they walk in the door in varying states of disrepair, like their pastor. Every call to worship a reminder that, yes, grace is for them too, and every benediction a coat for the cold. Then they pack it up like those Israelites of old, the tabernacle in a trailer, but the Holy of Holies doggedly clings to them into their homes and businesses and into every other place they go.
They come back on Sunday and surprise me again. They came back? Another story about Jesus, please. Another shot of the Eucharist. The weekly reunion revives my faith. We have been studying the Sermon on the Mount. We take another swing at loving one another. Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. Beware the pigs who will tear you to pieces. Do unto others... . We hear the heavenly truth and some of us nod serenely and others of us look out of the corners of our eyes, does anyone else think this is insane?
It might be insane.
This little church might also be one way our city learns Jesus, who was crazy too. He was crazy for love and justice ministered by bedraggled little saints. For truth that could stop you dead in your tracks and resurrect you all at the same time. Jesus was so crazy for generosity and hospitality that he was called a drunkard and a glutton. In fact, it was his hospitality that condemned him. Hospitality even for Judas, even for me. So thank you church for opening your doors to our family, for letting me grab the lectern every week tell the story again and for gathering around the table with us. May our God richly bless you, New City. May he make you big and strong for the poor and the weak. May he make you to be a city on a hill and a song on the lips of the sojourner. May you grow up in every way into Christ.
Pastor James Kessler