There was a period in my life, during college and dropping out of college and returning to college, that I moved fourteen times in seven years. After Lisa and I were married, we slowed that pace to moving only once every couple of years. Sometimes, the move was only across town and sometimes it was across the country. Either way, the packing is the same, the boxes just as heavy, the furniture just as difficult to fit through that one door.
You would think that, after so much moving, we would have pared our stuff down to the essentials. The reasonable person makes choices about what he or she really needs. But the hurried, procrastinating person just throws everything in a box, saying, “I’ll sort that out when we get to the new place.” So many new places and so much old stuff. Here we are in Dallas – sure to be our final resting place – with a studio and an attic and a couple of closets full of all that stuff, boxes containing God-knows-what that haven’t been opened in years.
In light of that, I have to respect the kind of grisly discipline portrayed in the story of Noah’s ark found in Genesis 6. Certainly, there are problems with this story; it’s not all rainbows and oddly congenial animals. However, at its base, the story of the flood is a story of recreation. The world was created for life, but it became a place of violence and death. God packs up all the things necessary for life, puts them in a little box for safekeeping, washes away everything else, and starts over. Yes, it’s harsh and perhaps there was a lot to love that got washed away – honestly, this isn’t my favorite depiction of God – but sometimes you just have to move on with life.
This will be our last week at the Kessler. Fortunately, the Altarnators, our altar guild and hospitality specialists, are better people than I am and have already done some organizing and culling. They run a pretty tight ship. But I wonder what we – both as individuals and as a church – would pack up from our time at the Kessler. What from this past year supports life? What needs to be left behind, lest it drag us down into the flood waters? When the rain stops and we emerge into the light breaking from behind the clouds, what will we have to sustain us? Will we be transformed by God’s promise? Or will we be carrying the dead weight of the past?
Please join us this Sunday, 11am at the Kessler, as we talk about packing up and packing it in.
Grace and Peace,