It seems like the temperature reminds us on a daily basis that we are in the middle of winter. Cold. Brrrrr. Bundle up if you go outside. Hats, scarves, and gloves are all needed accessories this time of year.
At the risk of gaining unpopular feedback, I will share an opinion that might seem strange to you given that I’m originally from a warmer place on the east coast. I kinda like this weather. When the air is crisp, it seems extra bright outside. Bundling up is a ritual that allows us the needed armor to face adversity. I like to wear the sheep wool lined bomber cap that my mother-in-law Judy bought me at the State Fair over nine years ago when we moved here.
I also like to come in out of the cold and have a warm cup of something to drink (be it tea, coffee, or hot cocoa.) Holding the ceramic mug or china cup in my chilled hands is another ritual that seems to bring warmth into the very core of my being. Sharing that cup of warm beverage with another makes the experience extra special.
On Thursday I will be hosting a Pastor’s Coffee and Conversation (click here for more information). I make sure that there is something warm to drink and treats to eat. Those who come to the gathering will bring the agenda in the form of questions, concerns, and ideas. I have hosted these listening posts a couple of times a year for the past few years. They are a valuable source of feedback and ideas. I have greatly appreciated these conversations and those who have taken the time to participate in discerning where God is calling us as a community of faith and struggle. They warm my soul as they remind me that we are in ministry together.
Ministry in our rapidly changing times is a challenge. At times it feels like we are even out in the cold a bit without the proper outerwear. So much noise in our culture that distracts and misdirects. The love and the values of Christ – though they can provide all the warmth we will ever need – are too quickly abandoned in favor of the latest and greatest. Repentance – a turning towards God’s ways – is needed.
Whether you can join me this week for the Pastor’s Coffee and Conversation or not, I hope that we might all take the time to hold in our hands a warm cup of God’s love. May we also share that cup in the presence of others so that together we might have our souls refreshed.