It is my favorite day of the month. After potluck dinner I gather with a group of 15-25 friends and play music together at Stafford. It isn’t new songs that I learn, more the familiarity and ease of tunes that have filled my ears from jukeboxes, car radios and record players over the past half century. The original singers are mostly dead now, but we keep their memories alive, telling old stories and infusing it with where we were when we heard it, or trying to remember the year it was released. As a bunch of music buffs, the first Sunday of each month at the Gathering Place is a great pleasure that we make commitments to attend.
Well, Sunday is always my favorite day of the week, a time of praise and reflection before God with other believers. I cherish that time, time I can explore and attempt to explain some of the promises that God has revealed in his word.
They aren’t new things, in fact as with the music, the familiarity of the stories… the woman at the well, the attempt to keep the children back from Jesus, and the glory of his resurrection… these stories are the things that reveal the character of our God and compel us to come toward him. We deepen the relationship with each heartfelt prayer, we expand our love as we reflect at the Supper, and we reinforce our community as we share sorrows, burdens, joys and victories.
As memories of familiar music legends can bring a knowing nod as the first bars of a song begin, we experience a more significant and powerful wave of familiarity when the Ancient Words are read. Our minds bring together the last time we heard the story, perhaps in a parent’s voice as they read the text, or the voice of a shepherd as he explained the importance of the story. This retelling will be enfolded into the memories of all prior readings as the assurances of the words of antiquity prepare our minds to face contemporary struggles.
That Jesus valued and demonstrated compassion in story after story, the characteristic increases in importance and becomes a part of our lives.
Yes, I’m excited about today. I’ve some stories to tell, some songs to sing, and some memories to make.