I'm off lectionary due to the Organ Dedication Service this Sunday so it gives me a chance to reflect on all those who have been faithful to the church over time. I read Hebrews 11 and 12 and love the reminders of the stories of that cloud of witnesses. Our stories are so important to tell and retell. But we don't sit around the fire or bake over slow-cooking stone ovens. I'm more likely to put something on the stove and pop into the living room to watch forensic television. We don't have a convenient story-telling atmosphere in daily life but our stories are so important.
Sunday the story of the organ project will be told. It involves people who will be sitting in the pews and those who have moved on to the next life. Dreamers and visionaries worked with practical concerns. Roadblocks were there and the 'impossibility' of it all loomed large from time to time and yet a great deal of money was raised off-budget, a great deal of labor was volunteered, a great deal of talent went into the rebuild and we have an incredible instrument with which to praise God.
I like hearing the stories, some I've not heard before being the 'new kid on the block'. I understand the importance of telling them. Our church, like so many others, is in a transition time. The days of a full sanctuary are memories, not current reality. The dreams for the future may need to look different than the past. Stories remind us of the heritage that brought us to this place. Stories remind us of God's faithfulness that never ends. Stories inspire us to continue in faithful response to God, trusting that whatever new thing God births in the world will be good. Even when we can't see what it is, or recognize anything that looks like 'church' to us, we can trust that our God, who acted in the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Aaron, Miriam, and so many others, CONTINUES, even now, to act in our lives - always steadfast, always faithful.