(Posted September 3, 2016)
As soon as I walked in the door my first day back from vacation, there it was. Perched on my desk and newly arrived via UPS, it was one of those wall calendars that I’ve become infamous for using as an Old School planning tool, waiting for me. Except this one said on it, “Month-By-Month 2017.” MaryAnn had taken the initiative to reorder it while I was away, even before I asked her for it. It’s the kind of thing that sells out quickly.
I sighed. I wasn’t ready for this. Wasn’t ready the first day back from vacation for planning the rest of this week, much less a whole year yawning ahead of me. But then I caught myself, and realized that I was being my own worst enemy. This wall calendar – instead of looking at it, even blank as it is, as a lot of work, I should be seeing in it a whole bunch of potential for great things, for times shared with church members, times for baptisms and weddings yet to be performed. And yes -- times to accompany people we cherish to their new home with God. No… that calendar wasn’t fearsome. Depending on what we do with its pages, it should be awesome what we can accomplish for God.
As we approach this Labor Day weekend, and the last Sunday we meet at 9:30 instead of our normal 10 a.m. start, we need to enjoy the pause before we turn the pages on a new church year. Last Sunday we had an excellent turnout at Al and Linda Jennings’ wonderful house for a picnic and Vesper Service to say goodbye poolside to the summer. And next week on September 11, we observe Homecoming Sunday – AKA Rally Sunday – when we all gather for the first time back in the Sanctuary with the start of the new church season.
But this Sunday – Labor Day Sunday – is neither Summer nor Fall. It just IS --- a pause between everything. A time to sit back, relax and to remember that God didn’t invent time. WE did. To God time does not exist, for God’s time is eternity. We human beings, on the other hand, are so obsessed that we don’t have enough time, we’ve invented ways to keep reminding ourselves how time is running out. But if there is one thing that we learn in the Bible, it is that when we need to take rest, God is the answer. Psalm 62 tells us, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
So remember, one and all, to find rest in God this weekend. And if you still feel a pang looking at your calendar, just keep this in mind: God’s Got This. See you in church. -- Pastor Pat Kriss