Back from Back and Forth

Yesterday was the first Sunday back from Camp Calumet and Winni-CFO, and after camping worship services, where everybody is up close and personal, being inside felt different, and standing at the lectern felt too far away from people. So I did something I never do, well almost never, and took the microphone with me to the center aisle. Halfway through the sermon, the folder was too much to manage as well as the mic so I put that down in a pew, and preached it from memory. I have no idea what others’ experience was–and I only forgot one part of the sermon, the self-concern of the farmer in Jesus’ parable of the “build thee bigger barns, o my soul.” Maybe next week the lectern will feel normal again, but I really like the intimacy of camp worship.

Big message from everyone at camp in the North Woods, one that most of us are feeling, I imagine: Slow down, take a deep breath. That need came through loud and clear for everyone. Without exception, people reported their lives are too busy, and they want to think about time and work differently. Slowing down seems more challenging in an economic downturn–or are we calling it the Great Recession now? I was glad the lessons this Sunday focused on the First Commandment, on the ordering of one’s life in right relationship to God, and glad even more, of being renewed in the image of God. Jesus’ remark: “become rich in God” is a great tag-line, for people who like tag-lines, and a snappy comeback about what matters. Jesus, in Luke, has compassion and a sharp wit.

One of the speakers at camp prescribed an antidote for all the rush and worry of this strange time we live in: “take a walk with a turtle.”

May your summer days be restful, may a turtle surprise you, and may you grow rich in God.
Peace, P.A.

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