First Presbyterian Church


God’s great joy to you this morning!

We have had a house full of family this weekend.   Art’s sister and her husband (Ruth and Warren) were here for a couple of days on their way to Virginia.  Our son, Brian and his family came down from Ohio to visit with them.  And of course, Adam Art and I were here.  We have shared a great 48 hours together.  By the time I leave home to come to church, all of them will be headed on “down the road;”  Adam to his new job, Ruth and Warren to Virginia and Brian, Melissa and Callie back to Ohio.  We have really enjoyed being in one another’s company, sharing meals and stories, playing games, taking walks, feeding apples to the ducks, etc. We each bring our own stories and adventures of life; we talked a bit this weekend about how we differ as millennials, Generations X’ers and Baby Boomers.  We learn and grow in understanding our connectedness as family and as people living in the world together even when we think differently, act differently, value different experiences and things.  We are made richer by our time together.

How do we do that as Christian Community?  We are all family, in the family of God, and we come together from differing backgrounds and experiences.  It is not too hard to envision that taking place within a single congregation but often hard to do across the lines of denominations, differing religions (or maybe no faith background), differing lifestyles, etc.  Aren’t we all part of what we have at one time called the “human family.?”  Yet often we let those things that divide us keep us from coming together even for a few hours, much less a for a few days.  Our lives are lessened when we loose the input of others that are different from us.
I am listening to a book as I walk in the mornings, The Book of Joy, it is a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and ArchBishop Desmond Tutu.  Two spiritual leaders of our time, one who is not a theist (does not believe in God) and one who has a deep faith in Christianity.  The two of them went to great lengths even to arrange their meeting together. Both of them have suffered great disappointments in life, great suffering and pain and yet they are enriched in one another’s company and choose to delight as they share their thoughts on joy.  They do not always agree in their viewpoints and that has made for interesting conversation.
How might our lives be enriched as we widen our circle of conversations with people different from us, others who are part of our human family?  We can start within our own families and then move another step forward into the world around us.  Who might we intentionally take time to be with this week? Who might we make time for; to share time, stories and conversations so that our own lives and theirs as well might be enriched and lead us to deeper understanding of our connectedness and oneness?  We come together and God blesses us all as we realize our connectedness and then we travel on “down the road” to take our connectedness along to share with others. Our lives are richer for having been together.  God made us to be connected.
In God’s grace,
Pastor Judy