Reflection - June 20, 2017

By Darren McClellan

published 6/20/2017
Dear Friends,
Happy AWF Moving Day! 

As I watch the rain fall outside my window this morning, I am inclined to offer an extra prayer for those pastors and families who are sitting on their front porch at this very moment waiting for the moving truck to arrive.  For these beloved saints, this is a day of anxiety and adrenaline; for no matter how well you plan, pack, and prepare, the probability of the unexpected is still high.  Lord knows we all have our moving day stories of misdirection and misfortune.  In some cases, there is even mischief.  Having moved last year, I still sit and wonder who is enjoying my brand new weed eater from 2016.

The historic journal entries of early Methodism in America do offer us some perspective.  For instance, I trust no one will be sleeping by their horse tonight. I could only imagine Wesley’s thoughts upon seeing my belongings stacked to the ceiling of that colossal truck.  Still, despite all of our current conveniences—or rather the inconveniences of our consumerism—a circuit rider from any age will confess that moving is still a pain. 

If my personal memories are any indication of the norm, there will be ‘refining moments’ for our clergy families throughout this moving process and even an occasional opportunity for a ‘taming of the tongue.’  How wonderful that clergy families get to meet their new flock when they are at their very best!  HA!

If you are one of the churches who is to receive a new pastor this week, I hope you will do all you can to extend hospitality as often as you can.  The greatest break from box fatigue is the opportunity to greet a new neighbor and build some sense of community from the start.  Stop by if you are able—only for an instant—to affirm their welcome and to bless their lives. 

The words of Psalm 66:5-12 offer us two specific directions for the day:

First, go meet your new pastor (and family).

Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals

Second, share your gifts, your stories, and your lives…then rejoice and be glad!

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.  For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried…we went through fire and water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

“Come and see” and “bless our God.”  That will do!

My son John and I will be roaming about the district today checking in with our new clergy.  Tomorrow and Thursday I will be in Montgomery for a cabinet meeting with Bishop Graves.  On Saturday, I leave for family vacation to Wyoming and Utah for two weeks.  The psalmist tell us that all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God (98:3).  I intend to go and investigate the truth of this claim for myself.  I will be back in a worship service near you on July 9th with a full report.   

Grace to you,