Dear Friends, it is Friday, September 23, 2016. There are 93 shopping days until Christmas.
In the pastoral ministry, there are times when we visit folks in their homes to comfort them after the loss of a loved one, or a counseling moment requested, or to bring the sacraments to be shared and distributed. It gives me an opportunity to get to know folks in their home environment, a safe place for them, often racked with memories and mementos. Offices are no different, to some degree.
I tell folks that everything that I have in my office, on the walls and shelves and cabinets is because Edna does not want them in her home. I have a fault of being somewhat eclectic in taste and décor. In short, I have no sense of décor whatsoever; however, my office is a place where sermons are shaped, Frankly Speaking epistles are written, countless emails read and responded, gifts over many years are proudly displayed and just about every bit of space is covered. Yes, it does need several spring cleaning events, but that is more of having that “spring cleaning feeling” when it happens.
Right in front of my desk is a beautiful brass cross that is in a shadow-box. The cross has a story in its own. Early in my appointment, at my last church in Beaumont (FUMC-Beaumont), I was given a tour of the Archives and History room by a grand champion of history, and a kind soul – Naaman Woodland. In that large room this cross was on a shelf collecting dust. I asked him about its story. Naaman mentioned that once it was proudly processed down the aisle on Sunday mornings but that the bottom of the cross broke from its main pole. Repairs were attempted, but to no avail.
He told me that he was going to dispose of it because “it had no use.” I asked if I could have it to try and repurpose and find a place for its display. The cross was polished and proudly hung in my office for just about seven years. Another church member built the shadow box. The Trustees presented me with the cross as a going away gift. It has been part of my office and life for some 13 years. The cross keeps me focused on what I should always be about and the message that mandates us to share.
I share this story because what God has created God can always re-polish, repurpose, sometimes re-use or even process down the aisle again. The God that I believe in can even resurrect and begin new life.
As we go into this fall season of the church and look ahead to our upcoming stewardship campaign, I invite you to see yourself and your gifts, time and talents, as one who can be placed in God’s hands. Every one of us is a product of missions. Every one of us is in church by the grace of God for the purpose of God. All that we have is because God has blessed us generously. Look inside your wallet or purse, what you have is because of God’s generosity.
None of us are called to be on a shelf collecting dust. God has a plan for you. See you in church on Sunday.
Blessings from Duncanville, Pastor Frank
Connecting Folks to the Possibilities with Christ
PS: Corinthians Series continues, chapters 6-8; sermon on 8:1-13 (More than the Obvious)