Derek & Rebekah go to Church… Standing Up!!!!

“In those coming days,”
    says the Lord,
“the people of Israel will return home
    together with the people of Judah.
They will come weeping
    and seeking the Lord their God.
They will ask the way to Jerusalem
    and will start back home again.
They will bind themselves to the Lord
    with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.

Jeremiah 50:4-5
– Aleta, Rebekah, Mac

Sunday morning it was so very wonderful to show up at church, skip the “handicapped” parking, and walk (toddle) into worship on our own feet. Yes, there is the need for more healing; but, very much yes, healing is underway.

It was a little ironic – to me, at least – that Rebekah’s first Sunday on her feet had to involve hiking boots (support for her ankle). Because this happened to be pastor Mac’s last Sunday before setting out on his sabbatical, and he plans to do a lot of backpacking and actual hiking too.

Rebekah’s boots a bridge, as it were, to Mac’s sojourn in Reformation Germany, Switzerland, and then the long walk from Lausanne to Rome along the “Via Francigena.”

The Via Francigena or the Camino to Rome is an ancient Camino trail that takes pilgrims on an epic journey from Canterbury in England across the channel to France and through Switzerland, before crossing Italy on their way to Rome.

Via Francigena

So I would like to solicit your prayers for my friend, pastor Mac, as he sets aside three months for a sabbatical designed to refresh his spirit as a follower of Jesus, and reinvigorate his vision as a leader.

– Rebekah on her feet at church!

Meanwhile Rebekah and I reveled in the freedom to stand up and sing, to move around and greet other people during “passing of the peace”, and to sit exactly where we wanted to.

Not just a freedom, but – the more I think about it – a rare privilege. I have been pondering what it means to be in church, and to be part of a body of believers who have something important to share with the world. What we stand for is likely as important today as it has been at any time in this nation’s 246 year history.

But our discipleship has to begin with showing up. Everything else God asks of us has its foundation in worship, and through the life of faith we experience – and practice-together – DEREK

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