When you hear the word "open", what images comes to mind? What feelings does it evoke? Sure, it depends on how the word is used. Consider opening the mailbox and opening a letter from someone special -- acts filled with anticipation. The opening move of a chess game is the start of the enjoyable challenge ahead.
In February St. Paul's UCC voted to become "Open and Affirming", and we expect great things as a result -- meeting new people who have felt closed off from Christian community because they were labeled as different. The word "open" is inviting. We like being around folks who are open to new ideas. We flock to businesses that advertise "Grand Opening".
And what do we say when we hand someone a wrapped present: Open it! We want to share in that sense of anticipation as the bow is pulled off and tissue paper floats to the floor. We want to share in that moment of discovery as we watch the face of a friend light up when the treasure is revealed.
Recall the wonder of the open tomb and burial wrappings on the ground, the joy of Jesus' friends when they discovered something new is happening. What started then is what continues to start as people become changed by the life-affirming message of God's love. There is a strong sense of anticipation in following Jesus, then and now. He would open the scriptures to new meanings. He would open the eyes of those whose vision had dimmed.
This Sunday morning there will be followers of Jesus gathering at St. Paul's, open to experience a connection to the Spirit and to one another, anticipating discoveries and challenges and all that comes with being fully human. The Spirit who moves among and within us makes Sunday morning a "Grand Opening!"
Come to a Gathering this Sunday,
August 7, at 9:00 am.
No matter the weather, it's always the season for renewal. We ponder questions, meditate, share and sing. Join us for a splash of adventure.