Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Grandfather Pastor? I Think So.

He walks quietly across the lawn,
laden with fallen palm fronds,
 speaking softly to the small person who follows in his wake.
She is busy, looking at flowers,
discovering sour grass,
looking for birds.
They are content together,
the two of them drifting slowly towards the driveway. 
She squints a little,
facing into the sunshine.
And then the smile breaks and I hear her laugh.
He has asked her a question -
who knows what it is.
And she laughs and says,
"I no know. I no know, Poppy. I NO KNOW."
Ah, but I do.
I know that this man is a good man,
a faithful one,
and an earnest and committed follower of Jesus.
And he happens to be gifted with children.
He always has been,
especially small ones.
And anytime he's with a toddler,
or a pre-schooler,
or even an elementary student,
he gives them undivided attention.
He delights in their presence,
their growing intelligence and understanding,
their open-heartedness.
And he lives the gospel when he's with them.
As I have reflected on Sunday's sermon, 
I have thought a lot about this man.
This good man who happens to be my husband.
We're in the midst of a series called,
"What Time Is It?"
And each week, the topic for the morning follows 
that introductory phrase,
"It's Time to...,"
finished this week by "...Repent and Go Fishin'" 
We were in Mark 1 on Sunday,
that scene where Jesus sees some men fishing and
challenges them to come away 
from their nets for a while.
He calls them to repent, to follow him,
and then...
to go fishing -
fishing for people, 
not just sea creatures.
They're in for an adventure, these fishermen,
an adventure that begins with who they are,
and where they are.
And Pastor Jon just nailed it.
There were several lovely points woven through his narrative,  but this is the one that stuck with me the most,
the one I've been ruminating on as I watch my husband 
in this second year of our shared retirement:
Not one of the people that Jesus called to follow him
was a religious 'professional.'
Every one of them was called
in the context of what they were already doing.
And that's where the adventure began.
Where it begins for each of us.

Nothing is secular,
everywhere has the potential to be sacred space.
We are all called,
every single one of us.
If we follow after the good news of Jesus,
we are called right where we are.
Every job is a mission field,
every person we meet is a gift of grace,
every word we offer has the potential
to be gospel good news for someone, somewhere.

Here is the takeaway quote for me this week:
"Jesus is not calling us to church work;
Jesus is calling us to follow him in our work,
whatever that may be."
So, if you're raising babies and toddlers,
and able to stay at home with them -
there is your good news platform.

If you're in an office, behind a bank window,
standing in front of a classroom,
driving a cab, rising early to bake bread,
serving food in a restaurant,
or moving into the new rhythms of retirement -
wherever you are,
there is where you are called,
there is where YOU are a pastor.
So I watch my husband pastor our granddaughter, 
as he has every one of our children and our grandchildren, 
as well as many of the children in every church 
we have ever attended.
And I thank God that he has heard the call of Jesus
so clearly;
that he has responded so obediently;
that he is living the good news...
right where he is.

How about you?

Joining with Michelle and with Emily and with Bonnie this Wednesday night: