Another Sunday Morning

July 09, 2017

Today the granddaughter of one of my best friends was baptized in our church in Wheaton. I wasn't there.

It's one of those "another Sunday; another church" weekends that are part of the nomadic life. I'm not complaining; we chose this life and we anticipated this challenge. In the last 11 months, we've worshiped in about 35 churches. Some were friendly; others not so much. In some the singing was robust; in others, the accompanist couldn't count. A lot of congregations were small and aging. Some of the preachers were terrific orators, some were soporific, but only a few sermons were not soundly biblical. We've been in churches where we slipped effortlessly into the flow of the service and a few (I'm looking at you, Episcopalians) where we could have used a tour guide to keep up with which book we needed to be in for which part of the liturgy. 

Today was a "good" Sunday: friendly people, comfortable-to-us liturgy, gifted preacher, accomplished organist, full pews.

Better than all of that, though, is something that runs like a thread through all the churches we have visited: this church, like all the others, is a part of the Church with a capital C--the universal Body of Christ, what those of us who say the Apostles' Creed know as "the holy, catholic Church; the communion of saints." (For those who aren't fluent in church-speak, "saints" in this context doesn't mean really good people or beatified people--just people who belong to Jesus Christ. If you're interested, you can read more here and here.)

And here's what was so beautiful about that today: When baby Adalyn was being baptized in our home church in Wheaton and that congregation was promising to pray for Adalyn, encourage her, and help nurture her in faith--at that time, we were joined with a church in Durango in stretching out our hands to the children of that congregation and praying a blessing over them. 

I may never teach Sunday school to Adalyn. But someone will. Many someones in her church family will be a part of her life, as many people were a part of our children's lives, and of mine when I was growing up, and on back up the line and forward down the line of generations, should this world last that long. (Don't worry--I don't know anything you don't about the end of the world; just acknowledging that possibility.)

I wasn't with Adalyn's nuclear church family this morning, but I am part of the extended family, the "holy catholic Church, the communion of saints." 

And (geek alert: those of you who are not Christians or church people or who hold to a different theological accent than I do, please indulge me as I quote from a document that I love):

Of this community I am and always will be
a living member.
~ Jane

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