What is important in life?

“Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?’” This is one of my favorite scriptures, coming from Mark 8—and we hear it this Sunday. Our lives are so full of striving, I’m surprised any of us live past 40. There are so many studies about the stresses of parish ministry and the impacts it has on clergy health; but, I have to tell you, so many of us are living lives at a million miles per hour and it is so easy for us to not ask the important questions of life. I’ve been a part of enough funerals and walked with people long enough to tell you that I’ve never heard anyone talk about the wealth, acquisitions, or portfolio of the deceased. What we talk about is how people changed our lives for the good, loved deeply, spent time with their families, gave back to their communities, shared their talents, or made us laugh (and lots of stories about being mischievous). So friends, find some time this week to just pause and ask yourself: Am I living the life I deeply desire? Am I living or forfeiting this gift I’ve been given? Because it makes a difference. Not once have I heard an elder say how sad they were they didn’t spend more time at the office or striving after notoriety. Pour yourself into people, into the lives of those you love, into your relationship with Christ and I promise you that you won’t find you’ve lost a thing, but, instead, have gained all.
It is good news that after last Sunday’s festivities, our joy continues: This Sunday at the 10am service we will have a baptism, as we welcome another member into the Body of Christ. Indeed, this Sunday we will be welcoming not only Grayson into the Body of Christ, we will also be welcoming his grandmother, the Rev. Wendy Huber who will be baptizing Grayson. We will also welcome Laura Osborne who will be joining us this coming year as our seminarian intern. It will be a joyous Sunday as we give thanks to God for the love and life that we share in this place.
Also, we’ll be launching our RenewalWorks survey this Sunday. You can hear more about it and participate in the survey at the 9am Adult Forum in the Library. Come and ask your questions and explore how this process will help us grow as a parish. I look forward to seeing you there!
See you Sunday!