Let me tell you about yesterday. Nothing fancy. Just another Monday in the church, really. There were four chapters.
Chapter 1 - I spent a lot the morning with the daughter and grand-daughter of a woman who recently died. We talked about her 94 years of life, we laughed at some warm memories, and we cried with the pain of her death. We talked together about a memorial service, and how to create a time of remembrance that she would have enjoyed herself. One thing, for example: I am most definitely not going to be wearing a robe and stole for this one; the lady did not particularly like ministers! A fact about which the three of us had a particularly good chuckle.
Chapter 2 - I talked for most of the afternoon with a friend who is struggling to find meaning in her relationships and purpose in her life. She wanted to talk about feeling valued. She wanted to talk about life's priorities. In short, she wanted to talk about the things that most of us want to talk about. Mostly, she just needed to talk. So we talked. Mostly, I guess, we just need people to talk with.
Chapter 3 - After dinner with my family, I went back to church for a little jam session with a couple of guys who are really awesome musicians and genuinely nice guys. Our little piano/guitar/bass combo is clicking along very well, if I do say so myself, and we are ready to debut in church this Sunday morning for the first time. But it is not really about making good music. It is about the three of us, for an hour and a half on Monday nights, joining together to create, to share together in the process of making music. When the music is out there in the space around us, everything else fades from view.
Chapter 4 - I spent the late evening talking with a young couple who is to be married in our church in April. We talked about love, and family, and compatibility. We talked about being a neat freak and remembering to put the toilet seat down and the pros and cons of eating two (2) family Thanksgiving dinners. We laughed at silly stories from their two-and-a-half years together, and we spent some time thinking about what everything might look like in ten years from now.
That was yesterday in the church. It was a long day. Nothing fancy, just some people trying to live their lives as best they know how. There was death, life, laughter, tears, music, hope, love, joy. No moral codes. No dogmatic diatribes. No relentless proselytizing. Just the church, alive and well, thank you very much. That's what the church is, I guess. Just a loose collection of regular people trying to live their lives as best they know how. And it is beautiful to behold.
Grace and Peace,