Parson to Person
Sarah is very perceptive. Try as I might to keep all of this from worrying her, she was seeing through me.
“The Dukes filed a grievance with the Denomination concerning me. I guess they’ve talked to the Wrights and now they’ve contacted the Superintendent too. I don’t think it will amount to anything”, I summarized.
“Nothing but a load of stress for you”, Sarah said as she leaned over and kissed my forehead.
“Nah, you know I don’t do stress. It’s against my religion”, I joked.
Normally Christmas time is a great season for me. This year was feeling different. Perhaps it was stress related to this whole matter with the Dukes – and now the Wrights. If so, my meeting with Dan Hiles on Tuesday did little to ease matters.
“Brian, we need to officially hear their grievance. We’ll wait until after the first of the year to allow everyone to enjoy the holidays. But a formal Committee meeting needs to be set on the calendar.”
I thought to myself, “Did he really say ‘so everyone can enjoy the holidays’?” Sure!
At work on my Christmas Eve planning, I tried desperately to set those concerns aside. There was still so much to be excited about. While the church is celebrating Christ’s birth into this world, I was personally praising God for what looked like Christ’s being born into the hearts of a couple of brand new believers this Christmas season. Robin had embraced Christ as her Savior. I was thrilled at every conversation with her to experience all of this – life, faith, Christmas, everything – through her fresh perspective. Oblivious to church politics, her experience was that church was a big love-fest. It felt so right to see things through her eyes. The gospel was so simple, just like Jesus said – simple enough for a child. No concerns for systematic theologies or theories of the atonement, just the simple gospel truth. She’d tell you, that truth has changed her life.
Then there was Jesse. Sarah and I were having supper with the Gerrys tonight. In each of the few telephone calls it took to firm up our plans, Jesse went on and on about his excitement to have this spiritual conversation with me. I could tell this evening was going to be very interesting.