I have been inundated in the past few days with...well, my past. While celebrating my recent birthday my mom came down to the house and brought my favorite pastry. She began to reminisce about "when you were born." She shared memories I never heard before! I mean I thought I heard all the stories about growing up, but apparently she kept a few goodies to herself for just that right moment to spring them on me!
I've been a church goer all my life. I remember all kinds of things about going to church; being in awe of the Pastor, being in awe of the choir, being afraid of the big portrait of Jesus floating above the earth at the front of the church. But mostly I remember being connected to the community of faith. I might not have understood all the things the sermon was about, or even liked the old lady in the back pew who liked to pinch my cheek when I walked past, but I was a part of something bigger than my biological family in church. And I felt like it was important to be there. Not to show people how pious I was. Not to prove that we were better than anyone else. But because it just felt right to be there.
I've been a member of a community of faith my whole life. There are stories I've shared with the members of this congregation that maybe I didn't share before with other places. But I'm a different person now, from when I was as a child. I still don't understand everything about the church or about God. I'm still listening and learning, growing and finding new ways to fit my faith in my everyday life. But through all these years, one thing I have always come to appreciate and love is that God is with me. The people of God walk with me, not in lockstep, 'cause I would kind of hate that. But they are listening and learning and growing (or sometimes staying stagnant if they so choose). And no matter how old I am, God is there with me, lighting the way and sharing stories of the past. Both my past and God's.
So here's to another year of sharing in community, sharing stories and walking together. And don't believe everything my mother tells you. I think she was making some of that stuff up!