Last Wednesday I spent five hours with clergy colleagues planning Lent. Do we know how to party or what? The New London Association UCC arranged to have a facilitator (Rev. Adele Crawford) come and work with local church pastors to help plan Lent. It was great! What struck me is that most of us who attended are solo pastors—we are used to writing sermons and planning worship mostly on our own. (Of course here at CFC, Kim and I discuss our music and Nicole walks me through her “crazy ideas” for Children’s Messages. Though when it comes to writing liturgy and sermons, I’m on my own.) So of course we solo pastors were the ones who jumped at the chance to gather together to do some Bible study for future sermons and worship planning/idea sharing in general because collaboration is helpful.
And so I was contemplating how nice it was to get together with clergy colleagues to plan worship and the reality that there’s a feeling of sadness in our town after last week’s events. More than that, people are going through some difficulties with their families and their health and mourning deaths and just life in general can be tough. It’s easy to fall into thinking that we are in it alone. The weight is only on our shoulders. No one else can possibly understand what we’re going through. Best to just carry on and push through. Maybe that works and it’s how we cope, though I also hope that there’s a trusted person in our lives (or maybe even a team of people!) that we can rely on when the going gets rough. And we may have times that we can be the person that other people turn to when they need to know they’re not alone.
Jesus could have given us a model of living where he relied on himself and was like a lone wolf. Except he didn’t. Jesus had 12 disciples for a reason and many more people who followed him along the way and became part of a community of believers. On Sunday we’re going to be thinking about how and why Jesus called disciples to be beside him on the journey. Because it ends up that we need our people. We need each other. And life is so much better with people beside us. Jesus knew that, and this week, given everything that may be on our minds and hearts—let’s remember that for ourselves too.
(This Week’s Thoughts 1.23.20)