Install. The goal of the day was installation. Men were coming to install a new dishwasher in the morning, a new washing machine in the afternoon. Maybe the garage door installer would also show up to give us a bid. When the green and white truck pulled out of the driveway before noon, we were smiling and enjoying hearing the quiet hum of the new dishwasher. Then I turned on the kitchen faucet and no water came out. Something in the installation had gone terribly wrong. We called the man back and he had no clue how to fix it. Hours later another man arrived to install the washing machine. When he left, the kitchen sink mysteriously worked again, but the basement pipes were leaking.

So this Sunday I will be “installed.” And I am hoping and praying that once I am “in and working” everything else will still work just fine! Because you see, we are not alone. We are interconnected. We belong to one another.

And so what is important is not just that I work out, but that we work together. As Paul put it “We are the body of Christ and individually members of it … some teach, some heal, some knit, some garden …” Every single one of us belongs to God and God longs to use each of our lives to serve the good purpose that God has in mind for the human community. We are all called to use our gifts joyfully.

On sabbatical I visited a church in Nashville. Before the service began they welcomed us and then said “this is not the church … this is only a gathering … church is what happens when you leave this place and go out into the world to love and serve.” My job will be to listen for God’s spirit and to speak the words I can to lead all of us to be that church in the world today – the force of justice, kindness and love that echoes Christ. But you will lead too. The journey is one of mutuality, because God is alive in you, in the spaces in between us when we gather to sing, celebrate and gain strength from God’s holy power.

With grace and peace,