About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. -Acts 10:9
September 19, 2010
To the Family in Christ at First Trinity: Grace to you and peace!
As I was rushing to my other job recently—coffee in one hand, sandwich in the other, and my big, bulky bag hung awkwardly around the middle of my arm—speed-walking down the sidewalk, doing my very best to make it into the office to punch in on time, I saw something that I always see in Hyde Park when I'm down there (especially this time of year). I saw tourists.
It's not uncommon—especially on the university campus—to see folks walking around with their heads stuffed in books or staring at the ground recounting the eight million things they have to get done before their morning class; or just to see folks in a hurry. On their way to somewhere. Looking straight ahead. Speed-walking. Rushing to punch in on time. Like me.
But not the tourists. The only time they look down is to read a map. (And they usually are reading it wrong, because they're still constantly coming in asking for directions).
But most of the time, they're looking up. They're looking around. They're taking photograph after photograph. Stuffing their cameras full of snapshot after snapshot after snapshot. They're doing their best to capture the real beauty that's all around them. And why shouldn't they? It really is beautiful.
Recently, every single month, we've had at least one event. We've been busy. We've been celebrating our 145th anniversary year—a celebration which will come to a close November 21, 4-7 PM, as we usher in the Christian New Year, with a New Years Eve party.
Before then, we still have our Trinity Öktoberfest (10/10/10, after church) to look forward to, as well as the Street College day David Ziemba is planning for October 17, 7 PM-11 PM; Reformation Day and a Halloween Party on October 31; the Trinity Band Live concert November 6 at 7 PM; and a veterans remembrance day as well as an organ re-dedication November 14. We will likely also be hosting an ecumenical Thanksgiving worship service here, with St. Mary's Church and others, the evening of Tuesday, November 23. More details on that are soon to come.
In addition, the grand reopening of God's Closet is coming very soon.
I continue to believe that we at First Trinity are incredibly blessed to be a part of this community and a part of what God is doing in and through this place. It's beautiful. I hope you agree.
Then again, it's easy to forget that. It's easy for the beauty in the places and the people and the Spirit that surrounds us to slip right by—unnoticed or unacknowledged. Especially when we're busy or rushing or so immersed in whatever it is we are doing that it's hard to see how it looks from the outside. When that happens, it's time to take a step back, to be tourists in our own homes. Look up. Look around. Soak it in. It's time to go up on the roof with Peter and get a better view.
I think my prayer for the next few weeks is going to sound something like this (feel free to pray it with me, if you'd like): God of beauty, God who is everywhere, may I always see you and your artistry in all that surrounds me. Remind me that your temple is within me, and that your home is among all your children. May my love for you, Creator, spill over in love for your good creation. In Christ's name, Amen.
Pastor Tom Gaulke