Friday, September 2, 2011

September Minister's Musings from Pastor Bob Loffer

Friends,

School is in session! The school term for 2011-2012 began, in most places in Iowa, in August. Another reminder that the days of summer are limited and fall is just around the corner.

The beginning of the school term is also a reminder of the many times in life we have a chance to start over. Students are facing a new class, often a new teacher, new academic challenges, and a new chance to change the way we behave and respond. A new beginning.

Life has a way of offering many chances to start over. Think New Years! We make “New Year’s Resolutions.” We vow to (fill in the blank here) either stop doing something or start doing something. A new year offers a chance to change the way we behave and respond.

A change in personal relationships (marriage, divorce, a birth, a death, a breakup) is another chance to change the way we behave and respond. A change in professions, locations, job responsibilities, volunteer opportunities are yet other changes in relationships that offer a chance to change the way we behave and respond.

Church folks have the above-mentioned chances plus a church year and calendar that offer other chances as well. The start of each school year is, in many churches, the start of the church program year as well. Plans and programs that have been dormant during the summer come back to life along with new programs, classes, and plans. A new church program year; another chance to change the way we behave and respond.

Advent (which begins on the Sunday closest to November 29) is the beginning of the Church Year. Advent is a time to focus on the coming of God into our world. One more chance to change the way we behave and respond.

Lent (which begins with Ash Wednesday) is a time the church challenges each of us to reflect on God in our world and the difference God’s presence has made in our lives. Again, a way for us to move toward, a chance to change the way we behave and respond.

Sunrise, sunset, beginnings and endings. Each and all are chances to change the way we behave and respond. God offers us many times to change the way we behave and respond. God wants us to know we can start all over again. God wants us to know we do not have to settle for the way things are or have been. God offers each and all a new beginning. Here is to new beginnings! Thanks be to God!

Peace and Good Cheer,

Bob

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