My vocation was no surprise to anyone in my extended family. My grandfather, along with four of my uncles were pastors. I also have two cousins who are pastors and my youngest brother works in the denominational office of his church. This past week, one of my uncles who was a pastor died, and his life was remembered and celebrated by close friends and family members. It was easy for me to think of things for which I was thankful about my Uncle Harold. When I was young he was often physically rough with me, pushing me around and toughening me up. We arm-wrestled one another almost every time we were together until I was in college. All that physical interaction was his way of expressing love to me. As I became older, his love was expressed to me through affirming words. A year ago he told me how proud he was to have me as his nephew, and this spring he sent me a text message telling me what a great sermon I had preached the week before. I’m thankful for his role in my life.
When someone we care about dies, it is normal to reflect not only on the life of the deceased but upon our own lives. When we hear how someone else is remembered and how that person impacted the lives of others, it is natural to wonder how we will be remembered and to wonder whether our lives are making a positive impact on the lives of others. What do you want said of you when your life on earth is over? What difference do you hope to have made in the lives of others? When we’re busy or distracted by things like a pandemic, it’s easy to lose sight of life-long objectives. So take some time this week and reflect upon questions like those above-the kinds of questions that will help steer your life toward faithfulness to God. Like you, I want to hear those words, “Well done, you good and faithful servant.”
The Food Pantry continues to operate on Wednesday afternoons at the church. Thanks to Carter Powell, Josiah Brown, and other volunteers and students who have served those in need through the pandemic.
Ann Whitaker is slowly regaining strength and hopes to move back to a rehabilitation facility soon. Harold and Ann both thank you for your prayers and well-wishes.
The Ministry Coordinators will meet on August 18 and will continue to discuss possibilities for re-opening the church for worship. Remember to pray for that group which is diligently working to discern God’s will for our church.
Wash your hands. Wear that mask. Love your neighbor. And may God’s Spirit give you courage and strength for faithful living this week.