Rearranging Those Deck Chairs

Dear Sweet Man on Plane Yesterday,

Even though I like to read on airplanes and my Kindle was open and ready to go, it was clear you wanted to talk on our flight between Little Rock and Dallas.  Of course, we found connections:  we’ve both lived in Northern Virginia, we share the same political proclivities (and I loved your fun Bill Clinton stories.)  We are both Presbyterians, even knowing some of the same pastors.  When I told you I was going to the Board of Pensions Regional Meeting you nodded knowingly.

But in the back of my mind as we talked about church, what I wanted to do was hand over my Kindle and plea that you read this book and get back to me.

Clearly you are a wonderful man with an interesting history and a satisfying life.  And yet you aren’t deeply satisfied.  Among the things you said that made me want to hug you and quote Diana Butler Bass:

  • We’re thinking about switching to the Baptist Church because the preaching is better.  The sermon isn’t supposed to be entertaining, but, to tell you the truth,  I like being entertained.
  • Maybe I should go to a Bible Study or something.
  • I’ve been ushering for years but it’s an obligation, really.
You are obviously looking for something that transforms your life and the world.  As we walked all the way to baggage claim together, I felt like I’d known you all my life.  And I have, in terms of so many others with whom I’ve had the same conversation.  “If only we had a dynamic pastor with kids, we’d attract the young families.” If only we had better programs, people would come.”  “If only we had more money.”  “If only we had a better church sign.”
My wonderful Brother in Christ,  none of these things matter if we aren’t practicing our faith – not in a rote or obligatory way but – in our hearts and souls.
Nobody has taught you why devoting your life to following Jesus was the best way to live.
My hope is that somebody out there – maybe even in your church – will reach out to you.
Your Sister in Jesus, Jan
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2 responses to “Rearranging Those Deck Chairs

  1. Pingback: Rearranging Those Deck Chairs | achurchforstarvingartists | Church

  2. Thanks… This post was in my mind as I wrote Sunday’s sermon… It didn’t get quoted directly, but was present in the sermon nonetheless (and will be footnoted…).

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