Life surprises you sometimes. I didn’t expect to blurt out a personal health concern before the blessing this past Sunday, nor to spend my penultimate letter to you writing about that. I promise it won’t be only about that: when we are part of a community of faith, the fibers of our lives become woven together, don’t they?
Last Sunday before worship, a number of you asked innocent and supportive questions about the closing of our house in New Orleans and our plans for Denver and Flagstaff. I think I grunted my answers, as I had learned some challenging news at the end of last week and suddenly everything was in flux. Sometime during worship, I was filled with the sense that God asks for honesty from us, even when we don’t like it. I knew that the time after worship would be filled with awkwardness if I needed to avoid answering your questions. So I breathed in the Spirit, and let myself share the fact that something is off in my white blood cell count, and I don’t know why.
I have an appointment with a hematologist on Friday, so should know something more soon. I covet your prayers.
In the meantime, we get to spend one more Sunday worshipping God together. One more chance to lift our voices in song, to listen for the Word of God in scripture read and proclaimed, to break bread and drink wine and together know the transformative love of Christ. One more chance to stand together in the Niagara Falls of grace. I am looking forward to it, as I do to every Sunday.
The fibers of our lives will continue to be interwoven after I leave Grace, but it’ll be different. Some other fortunate pastor will serve in that pastoral role with you. Some other pastor will interpret scripture before you and preside at Christ’s table and share communion with you. Some other pastor will greet your visitors and challenge you to see things in a new way. I’ll be one more person in the world who is seeking to follow Jesus and sometimes messing up and sometimes getting it right and always being welcomed back to the table, which is where we will always and forever be held together in the inexhaustible love of God.
Grace and peace,