Sometimes the preacher gets it wrong:
the sermon that doesn’t quite land
the hymn that isn’t quite singable
the children’s time that goes off the rails. Oh the stories we could tell!
Sometimes the pastor gets it wrong:
the visit that doesn’t happen
the prayer request missed or misinterpreted
the call that never comes.
Sometimes the mistake is a quiet one, that passes between two people, easily mended. Sometimes, it’s big and public, and the work of reconciliation is messier.
This Sunday, I missed. Through misunderstanding our church traditions and honest mistake, I did not draw attention to Memorial Day, our veterans, or our soldiers currently serving. I did this not though malicious intent or lack of patriotism. I do value the time to stop and say thank you to those who gave their lives in service to our country. On Monday I participated with the Mashpee Community in honoring our veterans and giving thanks for the sacrifice of those who died. In planning Sunday’s worship I made a call. And I was wrong. I’m sorry. Next year, we’ll draw more attention and intentionality to our Memorial Day Observance, but I can’t go back to change our worship last Sunday.
Thank you to those of you who took the time, and risk, to let me know that Sundays Worship didn’t meet your needs. Let’s stay in conversation about what is meaningful to you in worship, community and more. I trust that each and every Sunday, something we do, say, or sing will be meaningful. That’s not because of my work, but rather because of the creative work of the Holy Spirit among and within all of us. I trust that God, capable of all things and anything, can do more than we can ask or imagine, and that includes using the mistakes of a pastor to stir up conversation about what is important to our community of faith.
This Sunday is Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. One thing the church universal has known since it’s beginning is conflict:
divergent understandings of who’s in and who’s out,
what the purpose of the church is,
what the call of the leaders really is,
how women could or should participate in the work of the church,
what it means to know the grace and love of God,
not to mention countless debates about style, language, and details.
We’ve been figuring it out, one conversation, debate, division, and reconciliation at a time. We’re on our way to perfection, but we’re not there yet. We’re learning together, what it means to get it wrong, seek forgiveness and lean hard on grace.
As part of our Pentecost Celebration, we’ll also share communion, a tangible expression of the grace and love of God. It’s a beautiful reminder, that when we get it right, and when we get it wrong, Jesus offers us his love, his grace, himself.
Church, I’m glad to be with you on this journey, as we discover together the challenges and deep joy of life together. Come Holy Spirit, come.