Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Value of Routine

Well, Summer is here. This morning, I was with about ten St. Mark people at the Habitat for Humanity build on Island Avenue. Every afternoon this week, we have had volunteers filling the Narthex to paint set pieces for Vacation Bible school. Graduation parties are scattered across the calendar. On a personal level, my daughter has her first swim class this weekend, and my family is gearing up for three straight weeks of travel for vacation, work, and a memorial service.

I don’t know about you, but summer rarely feels like a lighter load these days. In fact, in some ways these months of camps, VBS, travels, and celebrations can be a bit harder to manage. Our programming year has come to an end, but there is still much to do around the church. The routine of the school year is gone, and every week brings its own adventure. If you are like me, after a school year of knowing exactly what happens on a typical Wednesday, you may need to constantly look to the calendar to remind yourself what in the world you need to be doing from day to day.

Routines are one of those highly valued aspects of life which are most appreciated after they are lost or damaged. You may not give a thought to how the traffic pattern on State Street affects your commute time until a construction project shuts down half the lanes for a few weeks. When a longterm illness in the family requires a checklist of appointments or unknown days in the hospital, you might realize how simple life used to be. If you want to appreciate the ease of a nine to five job, talk to a retail associate waiting on next week’s work schedule.

Someone told me recently that Sunday morning worship orders their entire week. The rhythm of prayer, scripture, and song realigns their life on Sunday in order to face whatever chaos might be waiting on Monday. If you have worshipped at St. Mark just two times, you know exactly what to expect on your third visit. It is predictable, and that is precisely the point. Instead of wondering what is coming next in the service, you can instead focus your attention on what God is saying and doing in your life.

As the author of Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. No matter what the world throws your way, God’s love for you will never change. Hope will always remain. I pray our worship together might arrange our communal life around God’s unchanging love for the world.

Pastor Chad

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