Sometimes it’s a guest room. Most of the time it’s a “dump-it” room. It’s that room in our home where overnight guests stay. We keep it made up and ready to roll so we don’t have to hurry to get things ready if we find out someone will be coming for an overnighter. The reality is we don’t have an awful lot of overnight guests so the room is there just waiting for something to get dumped in it.
This Friday, we are looking forward to hosting the Rev. Dr. Marc Stewart at our home. He’ll be in town for Sara Branom’s Ecclesiastical Council and we’ve invited him to stay in our guest room. Which means the “stuff” that has been dumped in there over the last few months needed to be moved. The unused TV monitors and old computers that had be dumped in the corner needed to be put into the closet which meant that the boxes of old photos and slides needed to be relocated to a storage room which meant that the stacks of empty boxes that I had been saving in case I needed to ship something to someone (which is about as often as we have overnight guests) could be broken down and recycled. That opened up a bunch of space in our storage room which got me thinking that I could move the mattress and box springs for the bed in the other guest room which doubles as a sewing room (just in case we had more than one overnight visitor at the same time) could be moved to the storage room to make the sewing room more usable. The old kitchen table that we had set up in the downstairs TV room could be moved into the sewing room. I could hang an old swag lamp to give me more light. Along the way, I ran across some mementos that would be fun to unwrap and put in the sewing room but the room’s not ready to do that yet so they got placed on the bed in the main guest room….. where the Rev. Dr. Marc Stewart will be staying on Friday after Sara’s Ecclesiastical Council.
All this because Sara has discerned and answered the call into ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ. One thing leads to another…. And another…. And another. It’s how much of life happens. It’s how most of faith happens. One thing after another, not always in a linear fashion. It’s more likely to be circular and resemble some sort of spiral that comes back around on itself, always growing, always building.
At the heart of our Stewardship theme this year, is another example of how one thing leads to another: From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving. We are offered the bread and cup at the Lords table, an absolute free gift from God. It’s an invitation to be in community as guests in grace. That leads to an acceptance that invitation and then one thing leads to another. Our faith is nurtured. We are fed in body and spirit. We become part of a universal movement of love. A few things might need to be relocated to make room for generosity and justice. (Think of things like fear and hatred; the practice of me-first; blindness to the needs of the world; etc.) We discover some things we’ve put in storage in anticipation of someday having the time to do something with them. (Think unbridled joy, extravagant awe, the desire for peace, and forgiveness.) We recognize we have a greater capacity for generosity. We recall the generosity of God in the invitation to return to the table. From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving…. To Bread and Cup.
One thing leads to another…. And it all comes from God.
I look forward to the celebrations that will be before us this week: Sara’s Ecclesiastical Council, sharing a sacred meal at the Lord’s Table, the beginning of Sunday School and a celebration of returning with all kinds of carnival games and celebration of the ministries of our church. I look forward to seeing many of you in church.
Have a blessed week. Rev. Lynne