April 23, 2009

My Last Newsletter Article for St. Barnabas

As I write, I’m surrounded by empty boxes demanding contents. The books are pretty much gone now, so it’s down to things like binders and my coffee maker, or whatever’s left hanging on the wall. I heave a long sigh, drop whatever other thing I may be doing, and return to the boxes.

The doors and windows are open, and the lightest of spring breezes is flitting past. It’s a Thursday – a lovely day like any other this week, but also the last one I’ll spend here. Today is about getting all my stuff out of here, and tomorrow is about composing a final sermon.

There’s a certain urgency underlying everything, and the big question now is how to be the steward of this rapidly dwindling time.

In a sense, this transition has been better than many I’ve made in my life. It was a change that was perceived to be coming from a distance, and the leadership of St. Barnabas was mature enough to treat it as such. You grieve what you need to grieve, if indeed you need to, and then you work the issue, remembering what it is to be undifferentiated and a nonanxious presence.

Now St. Barnabas is poised for Something New, and I hope you can feel it … I want you to feel it, because it feels like springtime; it feels like this all-too-gentle breeze that’s moving past me as I sit at my keyboard.

That new thing coming, my brothers and sisters, is what I call the actions of the Holy Spirit. It has ever been thus, and always will be. Indeed, we who call ourselves Christians cannot afford to pretend that we could even exist apart from the actions of that same Spirit, which itself is the articulation of God’s amazing, inexhaustible, unfathomable love for us.

When you get down to it, it’s pretty simple that way. Learning to trust that love, learning to walk in it, learning to return that same love back to God … well, that’s the substance and effort of the journey.

It’s been my privilege to have walked alongside you along this brief piece of that larger journey, and I pray that St. Barnabas will always have what it needs to journey and to serve.

God be with you until we see one another again.

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