Thinking Out Loud..."Joy and Wackiness"
At a recent event at Union Presbyterian Seminary, one of my former professors paid us quite a compliment...I think. He told the gathered group that they all need to go over to St. Andrews and worship with them because we are a "wacky little church." Now, I do know that he meant this in the most endearing of ways because he went on to say that our "wackiness" derives from our somewhat incongruous nature: We are small, we are hidden in a neighborhood, we are one of the "least of these" compared to other tall steeple churches and yet we are full of warmth and joy and life.
Our numbers may be small (for now!) so perhaps visitors don't expect much when they come through the door, and then...then...the music begins to tumble forth in jubilant notes, the melody begins to soar to the rafters, the voices join in with harmonious enthusiasm; the Word is not only read and proclaimed, it is heard and experienced in and with the presence of the Spirit; prayers are offered, rising like candle flame reaching upwards, upwards, upwards to melt into the light of Heaven's own prayers. Unexpected? Maybe, but wondrous all the same!
Perhaps to a visitor it is surprising in such a small congregation - perhaps it's an anomaly they think - perhaps we were having an usually "good" day. Perhaps, but, no. Therein lies our "wackiness" because we do this every week! We find joy in worshiping God and sharing this joy with one another every single Sunday! Why? Well, I've wondered about this myself. I believe it is because none of us are there for any other reason than because we truly want to be present. We want to worship, we want to sing, we want to share the peace of Christ with every person around us with a hug and a smile and a joy in community that I have rarely experienced elsewhere.
While Kiki and I are, technically, at work, I never feel that it is work despite the preparation that goes into the service - - it is my calling, it is the song God has given me, it is the love God has written on my heart, it is the gift of sharing joy in faith with others. I can also tell you that most Sundays when Kiki plays I become so lost within the music that I often forget that I still need to stand up and speak - for she allows us to be enfolded within her gift and it is as if the music comes from some place deep within her and suddenly bursts forth miraculously audible to all of us - amazing!
Is all this a little wacky? I think it is...and I wouldn't want it any other way!
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nadine