Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Jim Epps.
Church is a mixed bag for many people in the Pullen community. In the words of Corinne Ware, for some of us, it is a powerful and solid anchor that holds us as we negotiate our lives. Others among us have had a history with the Church that has led us away for good reasons and back after many years. For still others, saying that we have a love-hate relationship with the institution—Pullen specifically or Church generally—would be an honest and accurate statement.
Church is flawed, for sure, but it is ours. Without a faith tradition, we have to negotiate our spirituality on our own. That’s not all bad since remaking our understandings and experiences of the sacred can generate meaningful growth. But it can also turn us into “dabblers” who have lots of spiritual flexibility but no rootedness.
One of today’s lectionary texts is Revelation 2:8-11. It’s one of the letters to the churches for which this final book of the New Testament is famous. The audience is the church at Smyrna and the letter warns that this community will be tested. This has always been true for churches. As a collection of humans, churches have all the gifts and problems of humanity. Sometimes we love well and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we take risks and sometimes we’re too timid. Sometimes we give generously and sometimes we’re selfish.
Today as you go about your daily activities, consider what your Pullen family means to you during this Lent. Say a prayer for Pullen members, friends, and staff. Pray that their journeys through Lent will be meaningful. Give thanks for what Pullen has meant to the world in its 128-year history as you pray for a future that is faithful to our special calling in the months and years ahead.
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.