A friend of mine that I haven’t spoken to on the phone for quite a while called me and we caught up. At one point, she asked rather open-endedly, “What are you looking forward to?”
Like right now? “Sure, if that’s what you mean.”
Taking off my shoes. I’ve had them on all day, and my feet hurt. “Is that all?”
Going to the grocery store after eating camp food for a week. Cooking dinner tonight. Using my gigantic chef’s knife. “What else?”
Doing camp and being done with doing camp for the summer. Seeing the new youth leadership team roll on, and celebrating with them. Hearing stories about how great the retreats and rallies I won’t be at are (it really is nice to know that the camp ministries do not end because you’re not present there). “What about in your life?”
I’m looking forward to getting married. I’m looking forward to paying off my car. I’m looking forward to hearing back about a book contract. I’m looking forward to buying a house with a gas stove. “And what about the church?”
I’m looking forward to Sunday. I say that every time I write this article, as you may have noticed. But I don’t just mean Sunday-Sunday. (Though keep reading, it’s going to knock your socks off!) I mean all the moments of resurrection. I’m looking forward to the next wedding, the next baptism, the next time Wednesday Morning Bible Study gets derailed by questions from left field or the worries of the world. I’m looking forward to the next class, the next sermon, the next Austin Street, the next potluck, the next time someone says “I have this crazy idea that fits into the work the church is doing.” I’m looking forward to the church being Church when tragedy hits, if not the tragedy itself—I am looking forward to being part of the community that gathers hope in the darkness and shares it as it multiplies; that comforts the mourning; that stands up to the oppressive powers that be. I am looking forward to us doing the hard and glorious in-breaking of the Reign of God together for a very long time.
Now, as for this coming Sunday, here’s why I’m looking forward to it. The Dallas Jazz Quartet will be joining us in worship, enhancing our incredible music ministry and adding to our communal worship. We’ll be having lunch together and seeing The Great Kapok Tree as performed by the children from our Vacation Church School. We’ll be celebrating the pledge to keep investing in our ministries and our work. And we’ll be looking forward, seeing if we can see Jesus on the horizon, calling us towards a more abundant, meaningful, communal life. (I bet we’ll be able to see him.) This Sunday, like every Sunday, we celebrate resurrection. And I am looking forward to seeing you then. Please, do not ever take that as a cliché conclusion to the Postcards. I mean it. I will be looking for you on Sunday, and I really hope to see you there.