Sunday, August 26, 2018

An oasis moment

Joyce Sasse - There are times I despair when I consider the future of the church as we once knew it. There are other times when a particular experience affirms an amazing glimmer of hope in a turbulent world.

After weeks of drought, heat, smoke and the threat of wild-fire, last Sunday’s gathering at church provided a moment of spiritual refreshment.

Congregants were glad to come together after a month of stand-down time. The hymn singing was robust. There was teasing and some giggles when the microphone went dead - because everyone wanted to hear the story-lady!

The pastor’s message about “Legacies” came from his own family’s heart-felt experience with finding a care-home for both his and his wife’s parents, and disposing of the accumulations of a lifetime. What echoes through my memory is the thought that “legacy” is about so much more than stuff and money matters. We were reminded about understandings Christians have inherited from the Founders and Builders of our Faith.

Prayer offerings and requests drew us together – as we heard from those living on the edge of the evacuation-alert zone, as we heard of the passing of a loved one and the life-transition of another. There was also the invitation to share in recognition of the 30 years one couple has lived under the shadow of diminished health... and their up-coming 50th wedding anniversary.

As we gathered for celebratory cake and coffee, the chatter and laughter and story-telling created its own din. Others, not able to be at the worship service, dropped by to add their own “glad-to-be-included” smiles.

Like an oasis-moment found in the midst of a desert of helplessness, this time together lifted our spirits and sent us home better equipped to face whatever the coming week has in store.

James Taylor writes in Everyday Psalms: “Laughter is the icing on a cake of comfort that many generations have baked … As cold toes grow warmer under a comfy quilt, so loving relationships grow warmer with time … The simple pleasures of companionship rise from them to heaven … God judges the quality of our lives together.”

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