to everything there is a season...

Tomorrow is the final sermon I will share as a full-time pastor. Yeah, yeah, I know:  I will be back at church the following week - and for some time to come - so for some people they won't even notice the change. But I do - and as the Bard of Vermont is clear to say: we are called to listen to our lives and my life is singing "the party's over!". I shaped tomorrow's message in my head carefully over the past month and committed my first draft to laptop on Tuesday. Since then I have edited a variety of on-line and hard copies about 10 times. We shall see. I will post my final draft after things wrap up tomorrow evening. Two thoughts as this day comes to a close:

+ There is something exhilarating and simultaneously sad about experiencing this 
chapter in my life.  I feel like a burden has been lifted from my soul and I can more fully be authentically the radical disciple of Jesus I have longed to be in public. At the same time, like all good-byes, there is sorrow. 

+ The timing is fortuitous - given the Trump regime. As our resistance ripens, it will become more costly. How serendipitous that I have been rereading/studying Bonhoeffer of late? I loved seeing many of the young and innocent out at today's protest against the regime's ban on Syrian refugees and other Muslim nations where the President doesn't have business holding. But when the intimidation begins - and the threats and violence - many will have to fall away. For this I am glad to have lived through both the 60s and the non-violent campaigns of Cesar Chavez et al.

Three events bring everything full circle for me tomorrow:  worship, our congregational annual meeting and our regional social justice advocacy organizations annual meeting. Each is sacred to me. Each has been close to my heart. And to each I have given much of my soul. Last night I went to sleep soundly at 11:45 pm and then woke up wide-eyed at 3 am with an anxiety attack. Some things never change, right? Farewells are hard for me and while almost invisible to others, tomorrow will be a biggie for this old dude.


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