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Pastor’s Column: Still Time for a Do-Over

This month is such an odd month for me. I’ve been your pastor for six months, but six weeks of that time I was away on paternity leave. I’m incredibly thankful for the laity and staff and visiting preachers who kept ministry happening. It’s both joyful (and a little humbling!) to see how little is dependent on the pastor at First Church! What a testament to your tenacity and your commitment, cultivated over the years and decades before me. Thank you.

I feel like this is a “do over” time in my life. I feel like the first six months I was singing Julie Andrews “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you” as I learned your names, interests, spiritual journeys, and volunteer roles. The last six weeks, I’ve been singing “The Music of the Night” as I see many late nights and early mornings rocking a baby. I’ll try to find a new Broadway musical to sing in the coming weeks.

But it feels like a fresh start and a rejuvenation of my spirit to have time with family and to come back knowing people’s names and our shared mission much more intimately than I did when I first arrived six months ago. It’s a “do over” that lets me see our ministries and missions in a new light. It’s a similar experience to the several church families who have returned in recent months after years away from First Church: they know the people and the place, but it feels different to them. I now understand them a bit better.

The Old Testament book of Lamentations reflects in chapter 3: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” That reflects the Hebrew people’s awareness that God is always looking for a do-over and always offers a fresh start when we turn towards God in our fears, our frustrations, our joys, and our contrite moments seeking
forgiveness.

The biblical story can be your story. It may be the end of January, but it isn’t too late for this month to embrace a “do over” spirit as a New Year’s resolution. Try again with connecting with that friend who you lost touch with. Try again with that mission idea with a team of people who you admire. Try again with advocating for a cause close to your heart with a neighbor or relative.

Sometimes there’s too much junk in the way and too much history in contention. While not everything can be wiped clear by saying “Let’s start over, can we?” it doesn’t hurt to try to lead with the opportunity to try a new relationship with a loved one, colleague, or neighbor.

My hope is that the next month is a “do-over” month for you too, and that the enlivening spirit of Christ is experienced in your home and in our community together. See you in worship this Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Blessings,

 

 

 

Rev. Jeremy Smith