Thursday, June 21, 2012

We are the mustard (seed)

I get to the church and everything is nearly ready. Teddy helps me make the last final set ups necessary to start worship. There’s an issue with the lights under the balcony and I tell him about the time i was ready to call an electrician until Amanda showed me it was a simple matter of flipping a switch.
Our people are gathering.  It’s time to start.  It’s a capella Our God Our Help in Ages Past. Our announcements. Our prayers. Then our scriptures are read. First 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13, the call of David, read by Teddy. 
We have chanted the Taize O Lord hear our prayer, so our response to Psalm 20 is O Lord, answer us when we call...
Then 2 Corinthians 5: 6-17, ...we walk by faith and nor by sight....  and then i read the Gospel, Mark 4: 26-34 with its parables of sowing seeds and of the mustard seed. 
I start by acknowledging that this is Fathers’  Day. And recall how when we talked about shepherds, how many people spoke of mothers, how few spoke about fathers so it’s time to talk about fathers. Teddy had his now unique story. Don learned about father form his world War II Bible and all the notes he had written in the margins. He wanted his shoes to have long air hen he returned. Glen’s story is most moving, as he came out his father had to MTV from rejection to acceptance. This was more than mordant than love. Not sure what my Dan would have  said. He’s relieved That I don’t call on him. As for me, my Father encouraged us to follow our dreams. Follow your heart, he said, the money will follow. Yes later, my mim says I’m still not so sure about that. 
I’m looking around. After days of absence, Rachelle is back again, Her SUV cart in the corner. She has come into worship for the first time. She’s reticent and shy and off by herself. But she’s here. With us.  
faith is the topic of the day. An dhow God doesn’t see things as we see things. God passes by all Jesse’s sons. And picks the youngest, little David, the one out tending the sheep. ...we walk by faith and not by sight... God does not see as we see.
Two parables. Seed is sown. The story puzzles me until I realize that what is described, the surface sowing, the scattering of seeds, is exactly what you do in arid places.  You sow the seeds, and then you chill, you sleep. The earth itself....there’s nothing you can do to force the e, to push the You sow. And tell you wait. What will come wilt behind. 
And of course, the mustard seed. Small. Seemingly insignificant. But ready to grow in ti a large shrub that can provide home for nesting birds and shade for heat worn travelers. A place of welcome. A place of home. 
That's the coffee  speaking to us. We may be small, seemingly insignificant. But we can be that place of shelter, of welcome, of home. I am convinced that God has chosen us for just such a call. 
I have to confess that last night I watched with my neighbors as Nik Wallenda crossed Niagara Falls. My dad was a fan of the Flying Wallendas. Carl, the father. They flew with Barnum and Bailey back in those days. With the ever popular seven person human pyramid.......on the wire...
I watch as Nik descends into the wet zone...that space in the middle where the mist is swirling n the midst if 50 mph winds. ...We walk by faith.... where there is no visibility...and then back up the other side into Canada. All the way his prayer thank you , jesus, thank  you my father....never a cry of save me me, just tahnksgiving. At the last minute, ABC required that he wear a tether. He may winging uo dangkijg iver he falls uoside diw wautuhg f ra heicoter. But he will jt diappra, be swallow u inti  into the vortex of  whrling eater. He didn’t stumble onc.
I kniw, we know, what its limr\\outi that tightrope. With no net. we’ve been out ther tha ylong. So long nthat maybe we firget there’s a tether thay keeps us sane and we sing in Pues Si Vivimis:  we belong to God, we belong to God....we comwforward into the sanctuary. 
The session meets. There are seven new candidates for membership: Teddy, Steven, Glen, Dob. John R, each with their own story. Teddy thinks the aalready was a member.  For Steven it was hearing me address the OWS spokescouncil. For Glenn,  acceptance and sonething failiarar away othe south, John and Don like the intimacy. Don’t eet anyine else in, says Fo, 
This is our largerts gro of new mebers in many years. My heart is encouraged by this.  Next week they will  members. 

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