Some moments resonate. They sound out, shaking us and shaping us in different, lasting ways. Some moments are cumulative: unremarkable at first glance, and then all of a sudden, I look back and the sum of them is a habit, part of the fabric of my life. I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one who has minutes that seem to stretch for hours, and days that went by so fast I want to snatch them back and re-live them. I’m curious about these moments, not so much for the experiences themselves, important though they were and are. Instead, I’m wondering why time is so important for my sense of humanness, for my own sense of connection and meaning.
I don’t know for sure. But I know that how we relate to time invariably shapes the quality of relationships in our lives – with other people, with the natural world, with our work, with God. To share our lives with others by being fully present to them is to share our own gift of time – to “pay it forward,” so to speak, in the form of hospitality. Dorothy Bass quotes a Benedictine monk she knows, saying, “In a fast-food culture, you have to remind yourself that some things cannot be done quickly. Hospitality takes time.” I like this – though hospitality is kind of a loaded word. To me, it sometimes speaks of ladies’ charm school and taking advantage of people’s willingness (or obligation) to serve. But there is another side of hospitality: the kind that takes people where they are and shares generously of self and soul.
The past few weeks, we’ve been thinking through our relationship with time – we’ve looked at the rhythms that the Christian tradition offers to help us make sense of our days, weeks, and years, and wondered how these affect us. This week, we’re going to take a look at an old and familiar gospel story – the well-told Mary/Martha hospitality story in Luke’s gospel. Stories like this are a bit risky, because many of us have heard them before. I’m hoping we have space to read it a little differently this week, and engage our own senses of what “quality time” means for each of our lives.
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday at 11, Kidd Springs Rec Center.
Our next series this summer is something I’m calling “Ship of Fools.” A few years ago one CitC person said that she would not go to a church that used “the ship words.” She cringed as she said them: worship, fellowship, discipleship, stewardship. She had grown up in the Church, like many of the rest of us, and those words, as for many of the rest of us, had the ring of the false and cliche, words used as shorthand that we all understand, but are somehow diminished by their frequent usage. But part of our project is engaging with not only the broad Christian tradition, but with our immediate tradition, the churches in which we grew up. Starting next Sunday, July 7th, we will begin a discussion of “the ship words” to see what they might still hold for us, both the promise and the peril.
Oh, the “foolish” part. In part, I just think it’s a funny title, an eye-catcher. I also think it’s true and, in fact, very Christian – God’s foolishness and all that. In my thinking, it’s foolish to think about stewardship as dominion or discipleship as self-abasement or worship as prostration before power. But there’s also a delightful foolishness in singing a song or welcoming a stranger or daring to love.
I just wanted to briefly give my support to the board nominees. Each and every one has shown great commitment to and concern for Church in the Cliff. With Valen’s continuing service and Mikal’s shift in role, Janalee, Nelis, and Jen would make fine additions to our leadership team and propel us into the next phase of the life of the church. I hope you will vote to affirm their service. You may do so by voting at Kidd Springs on July 7th, or by emailing your vote to email@example.com before that time.