Both my grandmothers loved to sing, and I enjoyed singing with them. Each had an array of favored songs, mostly songs they had learned at church (Grandma G, the Baptist) or at church camp (Grandma S, the Methodist). I remember their dear voices, teaching me about Jesus, who was the Lily of the Valley, and whose love could be Down in My Heart. They meant it, both of them, about the love of Jesus being down in their hearts.
Jesus lived with them and walked with them and talked with them. They had a friend in him. The very thought of him meant something to him. He loved them.
Somehow Jesus feels very tangible, even if we've never met him.
We're coming up on the Sunday when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, that less easily defined Person of the Trinity, the one that washes over us or blows past us or lights us up unexpectedly. I've had those feelings, the electricity of one hand touching another on a cold day and sending up sparks.
Have you felt it, the shock that reanimates, the wind that reorganizes, the fire that redefines?
I believe it is sweeping over all our churches. It has taken a world-wide financial crisis to make some of us recognize that change isn't just coming; it's here. We're examining the spirit of our churches, determining what is essential, dreaming of new ways to live together.
We make a mistake if we depend on charts and organizational tools and marketing schemes.
We need to seek our joy.