From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear PPPC –

Memorial Day is the federal holiday on which we honor and remember U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. From 1868 to 1970, it was observed on May 30th. Since 1971, it has observed on the last Monday of May.

In addition to its intended purpose of remembering and honoring, Memorial Day is also the “unofficial start of summer.” It’s the holiday weekend that marks a shift in the rhythms of our lives, especially for us here at the Jersey Shore. Summer homes are open. All of the restaurants that closed for the winter are open again; and those that didn’t close, now stay open past 8pm. The marinas are full, boats no longer shrink wrapped. There’s more traffic (ugh). You’re more likely to be bridged (double ugh). It’s warm enough to bike and kayak (yay).

Time is always a bit of a mystery to me. Sometimes I want to it slow down or even stop…to savor a moment or to catch my breath. When I sit with people near the end of their lives, they often remark on time, wishing for more time, or expressing a longing that time might have been spent differently. Time can be a stressor, too. In our decision making, time, or the perceived lack of it, plays a role in every decision we make.

With the changing of seasons from “not-quite-summer” to “unofficial start”…I’m wondering…what would it look like in your spiritual life, to intentionally consider the rhythm of time? Even to consider it as a gift?

After all, time is nothing if not consistent. It is not chaotic; it is rhythmic and dependable. Think of the Westminster Chimes that echo from Big Ben in London…every 15 minutes…like clockwork! Did you know that the lyrics to the Westminster Chimes come from Handel’s “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth”?

All through this hour. Lord be my guide. That by thy power. No foot shall slide. Dun-dun-dun-dun…

On a recent episode of writer Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, she reflected on witnessing the April solar eclipse, and connected it to her experience of time as a person of faith:

“There is no celebrity that could outshine it. No amount of money that could control it. No power could stop it. No politician could take credit for it. The scientist could explain it, but no one can hold it back. No one can vote for or against it. We could only bear witness. The same goes for the passing of time. When it comes to making decisions and discerning, there’s an invitation to welcome time as a kind friend, rather than an enemy we are trying to outrun. Maybe there’s an invitation to hold some sacred space, to bear witness to the truth of our existence. That we are small in the presence of God, and that is just as it should be. To take the time that is given to us to move with it, rather than try to fight against it. May we see the passing of time as a rhythm to depend on, not a rule to rebel against.”

What if the passing of time is a rhythm to depend on, not something to rebel against? After all, it’s steady, it’s dependable, those chimes ring out every 15 minutes….All through this hour. Lord be my guide. That by thy power. No foot shall slide.

Wishing you a safe Memorial Day Weekend! See you in church.

Yours for the journey,
Pastor Molly