My mom is a piano teacher, so I always played. She taught me until she just couldn’t anymore, when I was about eight, so I started taking from Mrs. Lynn. If you hit your practice goals for the week—and I always did, because, again, my mom was a piano teacher and made me practice more than required—you got a big stamp of a composer. I always picked Richard Wagner because the dude was nuts. He had a chin beard and he’d write the different sections of score in different colors. (I do not have a chin beard, but I do write in color like him. I was also unaware that he was very anti-Semitic, which I do not condone nor emulate.) Mrs. Lynn thought it was weird that I had a 4×4 grid of Wagner stickers (with one Liszt in the thirteenth spot, and a Rachmaninoff on the back) on my music folder, but she dealt with it.
Ultimately, my weird Wagnerian collage spoke to the work of transformation—I was practicing forty-five minutes a day and could knock out Schubert’s The Happy Farmer like no one’s business (even though I hated, and still kind of dislike, that piece). So I suppose what I’m asking is, how do you see transformation in you, in your community, and in the world? And when you do, do you celebrate it?
I am thankful today that the city council of Rockwall voted against a transgender bathroom bill. That in a time of heated debate ultimately of ignorance versus justice, that justice won. And that plenty of advocates and their allies engaged in the work of justice to, well, do justice. I celebrate with them, I give thanks and praise to God for the Spirit being present in those lawmakers. Are we by any means done with this conversation and intentional work? No. But on Monday night, there was a little victory.
Personally, I started working on learning Spanish again after a few months of sluggishness. I hit a thirty-one day streak on DuoLingo (which is such a great way to learn rudimentary basics, y’all!) and hey, all right. Am I fluent? By no means. Do I have to focus on conjugation and vocabulary building? Most certainly. But I kept it up for a month, and I’m going to keep going. So, a little victory, a breath mark in the grand score, and we keep going.
We are being transformed in God’s time, in God’s plan, as God works to in-break the Reign. It’s not just about where people use el baño, but it is about change, growth and the new thing God has begun in Jesus Christ that is proclaimed, an undercurrent of our lives, and ready to burst forth. How do you see transformation in you, in your community, and in the world, and when you do, how do you celebrate it?
This Sunday is Ascension Sunday, where we see what happens between the Resurrection and Pentecost. I love the text, I love the implications, and I cannot wait to share what I’m working on with y’all. There will be a heavy dose of transformation in it, I assure you. This week, too, the Rev. John O’Neal will debut in worship as our Director of Music Ministries. And little victories will be celebrated, as we confront the big necessities of our work as a congregation. It’s something to certainly be thankful for. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
P.S. Thank you to Elizabeth Esterchild, the Education team and our presenters for an outstanding first conversation about Living and Dying Well. If you missed this one, don’t worry, there’s others in the works. And thanks to our potluckers, cooks and cleaners, and everyone involved! What a great day Sunday was!