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From the Pastor - July 2018

07.03.18 | News | by Vivian McCarthy

    Praise the Lord.
    I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
    …in the congregation.
    Great are the works of the Lord.
    Psalm 111:1-2a

    Quick! What is the first thing you think about when you walk in the sanctuary on Sunday morning?
    There’s Mary!
    I’ve just got to tell Joe ___________.
    Is that a visitor?
    Praise the Lord!

    Having the opportunity to go to the orientation for supervisors of Duke ministry interns was a gift. There were two outstanding keynote addresses by Duke professors, and one of them has had me
    thinking about awe and mystery in worship. 

    When we walk in the sanctuary on Sunday morning and take our place, many of us reach out to friends and others that worship with us. What if we did that while thinking, “what will God say to me today through my friend – or through this person I have never met before?” What if we enter worship expecting to find God – to experience a word from the Lord?

    What if we begin the Call to Worship expecting to meet God in the words that we say? What if we sing the hymns lifting the words in praise to God?

    When you come to worship this month, will you fix your eyes and heart on the awe and mysteries of God, expecting God to touch you and transcend the mundane? 

    I love this quote from Annie Dillard’s book, Teaching a Stone to Talk, and often yearn to see where God is ready to take us! 

    On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.

    What if?