Dear Fellow Travelers
It appears that summer pulled a fast one on us and is disappearing as quickly as it came. The long hours of daylight have become a memory as 8:00 pm now is what 9:30 pm was a few weeks ago. The official date for fall is yet to come, but as usual our hands are being forced, or rather our wallets are being influenced to think Thanksgiving and to think Christmas. A walk through the stores already has ‘silver bells’ and tinsels in full display. (Sigh). But I refuse to let commercialism set my agenda and will cling dearly to the remainder of the hot, humid, cool, breezy, rainy days that this summer has meted out, with joy.
The summer months brought with it our fair share of travels to familiar places; back to the islands for some, off to our northern neighbors in Canada for others, and good ‘ole’ London for a few and other exotic places. For us who stayed at home, the guttural and multifaceted sounds of jazz saturated our fellowship hall on three summer evenings, tightening bonds with Bethany and the community represented. Our community day celebration brought its members closer to our hearts as we danced, ate, fellowshipped and provided book bags stacked with school supplies to students. Walks along Eastern Parkway, and surrounding neighborhoods opened dialogue with random folks some of whom have become friends and who have since participated in the outreaches of the church.
And yes, this summer has brought us a loss of one of our own, for which there was no preparation, reminding us of the uncertainty of life. We have been reminded that while the end of our life is in God’s hands, (all the days ordained for us were determined before one of them came to be, Psalm 139:16); how we live our lives is in ours. So knowing this, knowing all of this, knowing that there is no guarantee that we shall see the end of any day we are in, how then shall we live? How prepared are we for the untimely end of life call, be it summer, fall, winter or spring?
Well…..for starters how about not putting off for tomorrow what can be done today.
So today, ensure that you are in right standing with God, that you have committed your life to Christ as your Savior.
So today let us live in the freedom that forgiveness brings. For all those who have hurt, injured, and wronged you, let it go. For those whom you have hurt, injured and wronged, let ‘I am sorry, please forgive me’, be your friend.
So today let us be intentional about loving our family, not taking our family members for granted, relinquishing resentments and jealousies, Go ahead, surprise them, do something special that has love’s finger print all over it.
So today while we are at work, let us give to our employer and coworkers the best of who we are, without complaints and gripes.
So today let us do to others as we would have them do for us, and truly do so!
And if we do all of these today, and all the todays of our lives, though death may take us by surprise it will never find us unprepared. The payoff? Life in God’s kingdom in heaven, and…..people will have nice things to say about us at our funerals without perjuring their souls.
September marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. As we attend to the events in the life of Christ, his first coming, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, and his impending return, let’s make it a great year for taking care of God’s business. Let us press on to make disciples, the call of each of us. Let us pursue the identifiable goals. Let us at all times stand together for the good of the church for as the adage goes, together we stand, divided we fall. We will stand and do so with joy.
Pastor Narcisse (Cherie) Philips