Friday, May 25, 2012

The Empty Egg/Mann

When I wake up on a Sunday morning, my first thought is always, “It’s Sunday.” That’s all I need to think before a flood of current questions beg recognition. “Church? What will the music be this morning? What scripture will the minister interpret? Will Mrs. H be able to come? Should I take my turn on the roster?” Sometimes, I actually begin to contemplate where we’ll go for lunch after church or if I’ll nip into the county library and pick up a book. By this time, the cat has discovered I’m awake and thinks it’s a good idea to go out and watch the squirrels.

I can honestly say, when I was in pulpit ministry, I didn’t always wake up with such elation, as thoughts of unfinished business from the last session meeting would likely emerge during coffee hour. Perhaps the fire that I was able to put out last week would have begun to smoulder and I would see little licks of flame here and there during the morning. I admit those kinds of thoughts only lived a short time before current happy questions would take over with feelings of anticipation about the day.

Anticipation makes life interesting, prepares us for change and gives us opportunity to see options. Anticipation tells us there is more than what we experience at the moment. It asks us to look over the edge, to listen for the yet to be spoken words, to taste the sweetness of what is to come.

Last Sunday our congregation was invited to renew our baptismal vows, rededicate ourselves, and receive the sign of the cross with prayer. Our family pew empties quickly as we go forward. Later from my seat, I watch through my tears as people that I’ve known since childhood file by — dear men and women who are living a lifetime in service to Christ, helping and caring for one another, being the church in the community, supporting the local missions as well as those places where God is at work in other countries and communities.

As we walk to the car, a friend shows me an empty robin’s nest she’s found on a picnic table. “New life,” she said and smiles at me. “Freedom!” I have the feeling she is talking about herself as much as the baby robin.

Isn’t it precious how everyday things can bring hope and joy when one has been in the presence of God? No religious jargon or theological definitions required – just a willingness to live in the moment and know God is there with you. Look, experience and celebrate. “New life – freedom.” It doesn’t get much better, does it?

Donna Mann


Peter Black said...

Thanks! Delightful and resonant for me, Donna.
During my pastoral years, the sense of anticipation on Sunday mornings was most often a joyful thing.
Hmm, but on occasion (thankfully, quite seldom), times were, when a shadow rose with the dawn, and the platform/pulpit loomed a foreboding, uncomfortable place --like a courtroom dock. I'd say in my heart, "I will arise and go forth in the name of the Lord of hosts, for he has conquered every foe by His name" And praise God, we'd usually end up with a great service, after all! :)

Donna Mann said...

Amen to that! Thanks as always, Peter.

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