A couple years ago we went cobia fishing. The cobia never showed up, but some sharks did. It was fun.
This year we went cobia fishing again. And once again, cobia proved elusive. But we did see some turtles. This one was particularly interesting. We thought it was eating a jellyfish, but in looking at the picture now it's clear that its actual meal is horseshoe crab.
I had a dream last night. In it, I was called to another church. It was a big church. It had a large staff. It had expansive and beautiful buildings. It wasn’t exactly clear how I got there. In the dream, I wasn’t looking for a new church. It was just one of those situations where one thing lead to another, and all of a sudden, there I was.
And the truth is, it wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare. Because the most vivid thing about the dream is the feeling that where I really wanted to be was back at St. Matthew’s. I was never so relieved as when I woke up and realized that I still get to be is with you, the people I have worked so hard with and with whom I have fallen so deeply in love.
Because in the end, that’s what a church really is. It’s a group of people. And there is no group of people I’d rather be with than you.
During the summer, it’s easy to let church slip to the back burner. Part of what makes summer summer is that we let our normal routines go in order to take vacations or to go places or do activities we can’t do during the heavily scheduled school or work year. I get that.
And even in life in general, it’s easy for one thing to lead to another and for church to drop out of the picture. Life happens, as they say. I get that too.
Maybe God gave me that dream not just to remind me of what is so good about St. Matthew’s, but also to remind you as well. And so as summer draws to a close, I hope we will all make a point of coming together once again to do the work that God has given us to do: the work of knowing and sharing God’s love. Perhaps Back To Church Sunday on August 30 is the perfect time for all of us to do just that.
Because the thing is, what makes St. Matt’s St. Matt’s is… well, it’s you. I so look forward to seeing you there! With much love and affection, Rob+
One of the things I’ve learned in talking to people over the years is that a great many of us feel a certain wistfulness as summer draws to a close. Maybe it’s the kids going back to school or heading off to college. Maybe it’s the end of summer vacations, of relaxed days coming home a bit early to spend some extra time outside, maybe firing up the grill with some friends. Maybe it’s the cool air sneaking in during the night, or the garden beginning to go by. Whatever it is, there is a sense of melancholy hiding off in the shadows, a sense of nostalgia that wishes the halcyon day of summer would never end.
But they do end. Summer gives way to fall. Youth fades. Children grow up.
If one is even the least bit mindful, a sense of loss is inescapable. What are we to do with all this?
For some time now, this is one of those questions that I’ve been turning over not only in my mind, but also in my heart and soul. And I think I’m finally at a place where I can pull those thoughts together, along with insights I’ve picked up from a number of different sources, and formulate something of an answer.
If you’re interested, that’ll be the topic of this weekend’s sermon at St. Matt’s. As always, we’d love to have you join us.
Actually, I don't really believe that. I'm in the camp that tends to think that men can be as different from other men, and women from other women, as they can be from each other. Still, it does seem to me that men and women often do have very different ideas of what makes for a great vacation...